Vol 2, #1
Local dealer "spreads" it
The Road Apple is constantly on the lookout for examples of Apple, Inc.'s
Macintosh marketing manure. You know, where the Macintosh is touted as the
"business" (or serious) computer and the Apple II and GS machines
are for other activities like education (mostly elementary), games and home
Comes now this gem of an ad from a mid-December issue of the local paper,
Just inside the front page of the main section, the largest Apple dealer
in the area has a half-page display. The first part of the ad, featuring
a picture of the Macintosh SE, solicits students for classes to learn about
various programs for the SE despite the copy that states "Yet it's
(Macintosh SE) so easy to learn, training time is minimal, so you can put
it (Macintosh SE) to work in a few hours." If it's so easy, then how
come the classes, I ask myself.
The 12 lesson topics run from "Using the Macintosh" and "Hard
Disk Management," through "Introduction" to several programs.
Each class period is 3 hours in length and costs $85.00 per. Lessee, 12
lessons @ $85.00 is $1,020.00! Or, $28.33 per hour. Classes are limited
to 12 students and that means that the dealer is picking up $1,020.00 per
class or $12,24.00 for the series. Hi, ho, Silver! Away (to the bank)!
It seems to me that if the Macintosh is so easy to learn, then why all
the high priced lessons? And, after you've coughed up your grand plus change,
you still haven't a smidgen of software or even a chunk of hardware. Such
Now, the other part of the ad is a come-on to buy a Macintosh or even
(gasp) a GS. A purchase of either by December 31st ("...while supplies
last") would come with a bonus of a weekend for two at an eastern Oregon
ski resort. Not a really big deal, but better than a poke in the eye. Just
getting to parts of eastern Oregon in the winter can be an adventure in
The important thing about the ad is the small print in the copy.
"There are very good reasons for buying Macintosh. Businesses large
and small are choosing the Macintosh SE because it is powerful and expandable.
And, it's so easy to learn,(sic) you can put its capabilities to work in
"The Apple IIGS is the computer-of-choice among schools nationwide.
Makes every lesson more interesting---from art to zoology. With the remarkable
Apple IIGS you can choose a variety of software programs from the largest
educational software library in the world."
Hoo-boy, talk about damning by faint praise. Look at the words in the
Mac ad, "powerful" and "expandable." The GS isn't? I
wonder if anyone at the dealer's store bothered to pop the top on the GS
and peeked inside at all those slots.
Ho-hum, the same old marketing manure on a local level. Macintosh is
the "business" machine and the other Apple II computers are for
something else (and "less than").
If you want to see what's available for the Apple II line for business
applications, get a copy of the January '89 issue of inCider. The lead article,
by Cynthia Field, is excellent.
Macintosh is "the" business machine? Road Apples!
Publish It! 2.0 by TimeWorks
Mouse or joy stick required (limited need)
The budding frustrated writer looks for help from any quarter---classes,
books, help from other authors, etc. In the days before the computer, there
was the trusty Underwood that produced text complete with strikeovers and
smudges. The next leap was the electric typewriter with correctable ribbon.
Finally, came the computer with word processing and spelling checkers. Now
folks could bang out reams of trivia and correct most of the mistakes before
a single image hit the paper. The layout and text were pretty ho-hum and
except for actual cutting and pasting, most were frozen in the standard
8.5" x 11" typed format.
Then world of desktop publishing opened up. There were choices of fonts,
graphics, page layouts, columns, headlines and all the rest. The problem
was that the hard- and software costs were substantial if a person wanted
the highest quality product. Laser printers, Macintosh computers and desktop
publishing software all come with hefty price tags. It was not unreasonable
to expect to pay around $10,000.00 for a decent system.
All the time the Apple II computers was there and nearly forgotten. A
few software programs made tentative probes into the desktop market. There
was MultiScribe, Personal Newsletter, Printrix, GraphicWriter to name a
few. Almost all of these had limitations that were serious---speed, output
quality, inability to import text directly, limited graphics and the like.
Then came Publish It! 1.0. For the first time the Apple II desktoppers
had access to a reasonably priced program that imported AppleWorks text
directly, imported graphics from a limited variety of sources, offered a
powerful page layout ability, automatic linking of columns, fast printing
with crisp text and graphics and much more. It was the standard against
which all Apple II desktop programs were and still are measured.
As with the first edition of any program, there were drawbacks. The document
memory was limited to 128k which severely restricted the number of graphics
and pages available, the resizing of objects (areas of text and graphics)
was difficult and there was no wysiwyg feature.
TimeWorks listened and responded with Publish It! 2.0.
The available desktop memory has been expanded to take advantage of whatever
memory you have available in your computer. This means more pages and more
There are still some limitations that need attention in future versions.
For instance, there is a limit of 24 fonts that can be imported to the program.
This appears to be more than adequate since a newsletter with more than
three or four different fonts is difficult to follow and read. The problem
is that only a few of the 21 program fonts can be deleted to make room for
new fonts. Even if you delete all of the possible program fonts, only a
few can be installed and you are left with less than 24.
There are a bunch of public domain fonts around that can be imported
to Publish It! but first they must be converted to the Publish It! format.
You can get the conversion disk from Bill Olson, 6970 Arbor Dr., Riverside,
Not all of the public domain fonts can be used in Publish It! even if
they are converted. Script fonts will not work and neither will some of
the fancy ones. "Regular" fonts like Bookman work well, but they
are reduced. For instance, Bookman.12 is easy to read when printed in AppleWorks
using TimeOut's SuperFonts. When converted and used in Publish It! it is
reduced severely to something less than 10-point making it too small to
be really useful. Some fonts are enhanced. Wartburg and Creamy look very
nice and offer some alternatives to the staid Publish It! program fonts.
This is Wartburg and this is Creamy.
Importing fonts for Publish It! is a trial and error business, though
well worth the effort.
TimeWorks offers an additional font programs, but I haven't used them.
There are additional graphics packages as well. I have both Education Graphics
and People, Places and Things. Also available are Symbols & Slogans,
Design Ideas and a Laser Printer program. All retail at $39.95. There is
a 4 in 1 package which includes Symbols & Slogans, People, Places and
Things, Design Ideas and Education Graphics that retails for $119.95. Shop
around, heavy discounts are available.
Using graphics is very easy. You just make a graphic object (special
place for a picture) in your document and switch over to the disk that has
the picture of your choice. The graphic frame can be resized to include
or exclude the particular picture you want. You are not limited to Publish
It! graphics. The program will import directly from Beagle Bros MiniPix,
images saved through ThunderScan and Print Shop Graphics on DOS 3.3 as well
as some other graphic programs. Some may have to be converted but that's
no real chore.
A great feature of Publish It! 2.0 is the ease with which you can resize
the graphics in the document. You can spread 'em, squeeze 'em or just make
'em bigger or smaller. Too bad we can't do the same thing with diets. Getting
a good word-wrap around the graphics takes a bit of maneuvering. Putting
the graphic in the middle of a column will leave a bunch of white space
to the left unless you make a separate text object and link it to the text
object before and after it.
You can now shade text objects so that they look like a sidebar or highlight
something very important. First you create a shaped graphic (square, rectangle
or circle) and fill it with a light pattern (use the lightest possible)
or import a graphic. Then create a text object the same size as the first
one and use the "Transparent" enhancement. This will allow the
pattern from the underlying object to show through the white spaces in the
text object. If you use a dark pattern, change the font to "Outline"
or "Shadow." Type in your text. This is what you will get.
Graphic objects cannot be made "Transparent."
With version 1.0 I used to go nuts trying to put a border around created
graphic or text objects once they were created. With version 2.0 this can
be done automatically after the creation of the objects. Another great feature.
The "Preview" feature is a wysiwyg of what is on the screen.
All of the fonts and graphics are show exactly as they will print out. You
have to use the arrow keys to move to a different location on the page.
This allows you to make changes before printing that test copy.
There is no question, Publish It! 2.0 is still the standard against which
all other Apple II desktop publishing programs are measured. With a modest
investment and your trusty Apple II computer and ImageWriter, you can churn
out some eye-catching products. It doesn't support color printing, but who
needs it for newsletters. After all, you can't copy in color.
If you're in the education biz, Publish It! is an excellent choice for
school publications at any level.
Caution, don't say, "Publish It!" ten times fast in mixed company.
AppleWorks GS or How much is that doggie in the window?
AppleWorks GS has been released and reviewed. Consensus is that it's
a bow-wow of a program that should come with its own collar to fight the
bugs that come with it.
The first bug is the start up. Boot AppleWorks GS and take a break. Make
a pot of coffee, read the morning paper, call your friends or start making
a loaf of bread. Chances are that you'll finish what you started before
the damned thing is ready.
One of the system requirements is 1.25Mb of memory. That will get the
program up and running, but try to do anything with it. Better you should
have 2.0Mb of memory.
You can import AppleWorks text to the word processor but good luck using
the same function with the data base or spreadsheet. This little jewel only
accepts ASCII text for these two features.
The desktop publishing feature is one of the weakest around. Truly not
for the serious generator of newsletters and such. I can't imagine anyone
trying to market a desktop publishing program that doesn't allow for text
to flow around graphics. Claris can and does.
"Whoever wrote the printer routines for AppleWorks GS ought to be dragged
out and shot!" ---John Wrenholt, Scarlett, Nov. 1988
The print commands were designed by someone who really hated Apple computer
users or fetched his brains out of Cuisinart after a few quick pulses. Absolutely
the worst, period. And, dear readers, once you get to the printing stage,
can you print a straight text in a draft mode like AppleWorks? Of course
not. Everything is printed in a graphics mode. However, printing this way
does give you time for another coffee break or a short stroll. Actually,
there really is a draft mode for printing of sorts, but all of the print
commands and formats are lost. What a program!
Wouldn't you know the whole thing is mouse driven? There are a bunch
of us who would much rather keep our fingers on the keyboard than chase
that damned mouse all over the desk all the time. A mouse (or joy stick)
is great for games, but not for serious text and data computing.
The facts of the matter are that Claris bought StyleWare and took GSWorks
off the market in a move to restrict the competition. Then Claris renamed
the package AppleWorks GS in a bit of sleight of hand subterfuge that will
mislead those who have heard of the gigantic success of AppleWorks and are
first time buyers of GS computers.
Ask the question: what would you do if you were aware of the success
of AppleWorks and just purchased a GS? Wouldn't the name AppleWorks GS appeal
to you? Of course it would. Never mind that none of the wonderful AppleWorks
enhancements of the TimeOut series will work. Never mind that it is painfully
slow. Never mind that it has importing problems. Never mind that it will
not work with any other commonly available AppleWorks-friendly programs.
Never mind that this dog retails for $299.00
Betcha bucks that Claris would not have released such a canine-like program
to the hot-shot Macintosh owners. But, what the hell, we're just Apple II
and GS users; we're learning to expect our ration of fertilizer from Claris,
a.k.a. Apple, Inc.
Perhaps this dog started life with a pedigree, but after the spaying
or neuter job by Claris, it's just a stray mutt.
Premium memory from CIRTECH(tm)
by Dennis McClain-Furnmanski
From out of the blue of the western sky comes...CIRTECH. Well, Sky King
isn't around any more. And actually, CIRTECH is a British company, selling
Apple II series compatible memory expansions. So what's with the western
sky? It's there that you'll find the mail order outlet for these great memory
bargains; at none other than Open-Apple. (P.O. Box 11250, Overland Park,
Kansas, 66207). That's right, the folks who've become the word in solutions
to any technical problem an Apple user is likely to generate (and we can
generate a group of them) are selling what amounts to just about the best
in the west for RAM expansion. For those who aren't familiar, Open-Apple
is headed by Tom Weishaar, compatriot of Bert Kersey and Beagle Bros., author
or co-author of at least three classic books in the computer field, and
one of the most knowledgeable people in the Apple world. If he thinks well
enough of these products to promote them, they've got to be good.
In Open-Apple's usual straight forward way, they present the product
and prices thus: CIRTECH plusRAM-1 and plusRAM-16, for the II, PLUS, e,
enhanced e,; PR-1 using standard 256K RAM, starts at $219 for 256K, and
add $60 for each 256K additional desired installed and tested, up to 1Mg.
PR-16 uses 1Mg chips, starting at $499 for 1Mg, add $260 for each additional
up to 4Mg. With the new 4Mg chips coming out, this board can be refitted
with them, up to 16Mg. Sorry, no pricing yet. These are also supplied with
software to allow 1Mg or more to be partitioned for different operating
systems, and are automatically recognized by AppleWorks V 2.0 and 2.1 to
expand the desktop. The equivalents for IIGS owners are the plusRAM GS-2
and plusRAM GS-8. The 2 is identical in specification and pricing as the
PR-1, except it goes up to 2Mg. The 8 is again identical in spec and price
as the PR-16, except it goes to 8Mg, the only expander for the GS to date
to go that high.
All fine and well, you might say. Jolly good of Kansans to sell promote
good values in the Colonies. But what really sets my high bit is the new
card, the StatDisk. Here you get a memory expander starting at $209 for
128K, $60 for each additional 128K, (with a jump of $130 from 512 to 640
for a piggy-back adapter to go higher-requires the next higher slot) but
with a major difference. The RAM on this board is 32*8 low power CMOS static
RAM, and has a built in battery, recharged when the computer is on, refreshing
the RAM when it isn't. This means you can fill it up with files, programs,
whatever; turn it off, turn it on, it's still there. Yank it out, go to
your friends house, stick it in his Apple, it's still there. Take it home,
stick it in a drawer, go on vacation, forget about it for even two months,
stick it back in, IT'S STILL THERE! It's not quite permanent, but if you
do without your Apple for over two months, you're not likely to be interested
I happen to think that this is just about the neatest thing since Woz
first swung a soldering pencil. And if you're hesitant about buying from
a company across the Big Pond, Uncle DOS thinks it's O.K., so you can bet
your Pounds Sterling it's O.K.
AppleWorks data base hints
by Al Martin
Like many people, I think that AppleWorks is just about the best program
to come along. Powerful, versatile and easy to learn and use are the words
I use to describe it. There are those who think that it should have come
out with all of the enhancements like the ones from TimeOut built in. Yeah,
and you'd pay about the same price as you do when you buy all the enhancements,
The beauty of the thing is that you can get going with a super program
that integrates word processing, spreadsheets and data base at a very reasonable
cost. As a stand alone program, it's mighty fine. The real plus of AppleWorks
is that enhancements can be added and you only have to add the ones you
really want or need.
AppleWorks is like the IIe---basic, simple, elegant, powerful and able
to grow whenever you want to add on something.
Sadly, there are a number of people who just scratch the surface when
it comes to using AppleWorks or their computer. I've met more than one person
who uses just the word processing feature of AppleWorks and never touches
the spreadsheet or data base features. They are missing out on some pretty
powerful and useful tools. I think one of the reasons for this is that the
documentation, though fairly complete, does not show some of the hints and
tricks that make using the data base (and spreadsheet) easy and practical.
I'll take you through a step-by-step process that may either encourage
you to make greater use of the data base or at least make it easier if you
are a current user.
The first thing to do is to set up an AppleWorks data base template.
This is the master file you will use to make all individual data base files
in the future.
With AppleWorks on the desktop, choose "Add files to the Desktop"
and then "Make a new file for the: Data Base" and "From
scratch." Name the file something that makes sense for you, like "AA.Dbase.Form"
or some such thing. The reason for using the "AA" at the beginning
of the file name is that it will be near the top of the list when you bring
this file from the disk because AppleWorks alphabetizes all file names.
Since you will be using this file as a template, there is no sense in burying
it somewhere in your file listing.
Next, you will be given the chance to enter the names of the categories
(up to 30) that you want to use in your data base. The rule of thumb is:
Make all 30 categories. You might not want or need all of them right away,
but at some time in the future you may want to add a category or two. By
having all 30 available it's an easy matter to just change the name of one
of the unused categories and add it to the data base. If you add an additional
category after the data base form has been set up, you will lose all of
the report formats and print commands you have already saved. Since this
is a generic template data base, just give each category a number or a single
letter for the time being. You can always come back and put in the names
you want later.
Once the category names (numbers) are complete, hit [esc]. You will automatically
be put in the input mode where the data is requested for each category.
Hit [esc] again and save the template to the disk. Get out of AppleWorks
and boot up any utility disk that will let you lock files. Lock your data
base template. This will allow you (or anyone else) to mess around with
the template and not destroy the basic information you created and saved.
When you are ready to create a data base, boot up the data base template,
hit [esc] then [open apple-n]. This will let you rename the file and change
the category names to whatever you want. The rule of thumb is: Break down
the categories into the smallest possible bits. Don't put the city, state
and zip code in the same category. There may come a time when you want to
sort by city, state or zip code. Once you have changed the category names
you want, hit [esc] and then the [spacebar]. This puts you into the insert
mode for recording data.
After the data has been recorded, hit [esc] and, as if by magic, your
new data base is complete, for now. Since you have already renamed it, it
will be saved under its new name and the template is preserved as you originally
made it on the disk. Once a file is locked it cannot be saved with that
file name if any changes have been made. Your renamed file will not be locked
unless you go through the file locking procedure as described above. It's
a working file; I wouldn't bother locking it unless you have a reason to
The documentation is a great source of information about printing options---page
length, margins, headers, manipulating data, what to include and what to
exclude. Just remember that when you are doing mailing labels, make the
paper length 1". Otherwise, you'll end up with a bunch of blank labels
running through your printer.
Speaking of labels, if you want to get fancy with graphics and fonts
on your mailing labels, take a look at Labels, Labels, Labels by Big Red
Computer Club, 423 Norfolk Ave., Norfolk, NE 68701. The program imports
Print Shop graphics directly and, oh yes, data from your AppleWorks data
base files. I use it to make the mailing labels for your copy of The Road
Question: What does "GS/OS" mean?
Answer: "So Slow/Or Slower"
Analysis of 200 Apple II users surveyed
Carol Baskovitch from Ohio sent The Road Apple the results of a survey
of 200 Apple II users. The results are reprinted on pages 7 and 8 of this
issue and are interesting if not surprising.
Most of those surveyed (57%) used the IIGS as their main computer with
the IIe second with 35%. The Macintosh came in at 6%. 13% of the respondents
owned a Mac as well as an Apple II (86%). The interesting thing is that
just under half of these Mac owners used it as their main computer.
The vast majority (97%) owned either a hard drive or ram memory and about
two-thirds had at least one 3.5 inch drive. That's clear indication that
in-the-box Apple II computers are memory deficient. I'm not a bit surprised.
For business, just over 40% used the Apple II and a whopping 84% do not
believe that they need to buy a Mac for future business needs. 94% said
that the Apple II family of computers was only an educational machine. Does
anyone, besides Apple, Inc.'s Macintosh marketing "experts," really
believe it is? No one surveyed used their Apple II for education only.
Most of those surveyed (90%) used third party hardware and software.
Half said that third party stuff works as good as or better than Apple's,
was available now and is usually less expensive. Developers please take
When asked if Apple, Inc. should discontinue the Apple II family and
make only Macs, 94% said "no."
As I said, the results were interesting and not surprising. It clearly
states that the users who responded are fiercely loyal, stubborn and creative.
I'd say they also think for themselves. Wonder if Apple, Inc. is listening?
Are You Keeping Step with Other Apple Owners ?
A survey compiled by Carol Baskovitch
What computer do you own as your MAIN computer.
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) Apple II+ Answer 1 - 0%
2) Apple IIe / IIc Answer 2 - 35%
3) Apple IIgs Answer 3 - 57%
4) Mac Answer 4 - 6%
5) IBM Answer 5 - 1%
6) Other type Answer 6 - 1%
How many computers Totally do you own and USE!?
Choices: Results from 169 users:
1) 1 Answer 1 - 34%
2) 2 Answer 2 - 43%
3) 3 Answer 3 - 18%
4) 4 Answer 4 - 3%
5) 5 or more Answer 5 - 2%
Do you own more than 1 in the II Family of computers?
Choices: Results from 169 users:
1) Yes Answer 1 - 57%
2) No Answer 2 - 43%
Do you own one in the II family and one in the Mac family now?
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) Yes Answer 1 - 13%
2) No Answer 2 - 86%
Do you own a Hard Drive or extra Ram Memory?
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) Hard Drive Answer 1 - 19%
2) Ram Memory Answer 2 - 33%
3) Both Answer 3 - 45%
4) Neither Answer 4 - 3%
Do you own a Modem?
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) Yes Answer 1 - 42%
2) No Answer 2 - 58%
If you answered yes to the above, what speed is your modem?
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) Answered no to above Answer 1 - 58%
2) 300 only Answer 2 - 3%
3) 1200 top speed Answer 3 - 11%
4) 2400 top speed Answer 4 - 14%
5) 9600 top speed Answer 5 - 15%
Do you own a 3.5 inch disk drive?
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) Yes Answer 1 - 63%
2) No Answer 2 - 37%
Do you user your Apple II computer for Business?
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) Yes Answer 1 - 41%
2) No Answer 2 - 59%
Do you feel you NEED to buy a Mac in the near future for Business?
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) Yes Answer 1 - 15%
2) No Answer 2 - 84%
Do you agree with Apple that the II family is ONLY an Educational machine?
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) Yes Answer 1 - 5%
2) No Answer 2 - 94%
If 1=Business, 2=Educational, 3= Home Application, 4=Fun/entertainment,
do you use your Apple II?
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) 1 only Answer 1 - 11%
2) 2 only Answer 2 - 0%
3) 4 only Answer 3 - 5%
4) 1 & 3 Answer 4 - 10%
5) 1 & 4 Answer 5 - 4%
6) 2 & 4 Answer 6 - 7%
7) 3 & 4 Answer 7 - 18%
8) 1, 3 & 4 Answer 8 - 11%
9) All of them! Answer 9 - 34%
Do you use 3rd party hardware and software on your Apple?
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) Yes Answer 1 - 90%
2) No Answer 2 - 10%
Depending on whether you chose Apple products or 3rd party products in the
question above, what would your reasons be?
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) Apple makes the BEST Answer 1 - 6%
2) Apple is usually cheaper Answer 2 - 3%
3) 3rd party stuff works as Answer 3 - 16%
well as Apple (sometimes better)
4) 3rd party is available NOW Answer 4 - 6%
5) 3rd party Hardware/Software Answer 5 - 15%
is usually less expensive
6) 1 & 2 combined Answer 6 - 1%
7) 3, 4, & 5 combined Answer 7 - 50%
Do you think Apple should discontinue the Apple II family and make only
Choices: Results from 200 users:
1) Yes Answer 1 - 5%
2) No Answer 2 - 94%
Subscription to The Road Apple is $9.95 per year, 6 issues mailed to U.S.
addresses, or $12.95 outside of the U.S. Send to: The Road Apple, 1121
NE 177th, Portland, OR 97230 Ph: (503) 254-3874.
Vol 2, #2
inCider absorbs A+
A very reliable source has informed The Road Apple that inCider magazine
has purchased A+ magazine. The new "merged" publication will retain
the inCider name. "A few" of the A+ staff will go to inCider,
but the current inCider staff will handle most of the work. The June, '89
issue will be the first combined result.
For years there has been spirited competition between the two magazines
for dominance of the Apple II readership. As a subscriber to both, I have
seen many redundant articles and wondered if it was worth it to have subscriptions
to two similar magazines. Though A+ has claimed that it was "The #1
Apple II Magazine", inCider has, in my opinion, long been the clear
leader. This is not to say that A+ was not a good publication. It was. It's
just that there are not enough Apple II fans to support two such magazines.
I also don't think that this is a signal for the demise of the Apple
II market. In fact, I believe that the market is growing since, despite
Apple, Inc.'s negative attitude, the people realize what a wonderful and
powerful line of computers are available that take advantage of programs
like AppleWorks. Beagle Bros continues to support the Apple II with exciting
new products, a clear indication of confidence backed by good business savvy.
I'm pleased to learn that The Road Apple can make stupid mistakes just
like the big boys in the publishing business.
This one comes from the last issue, vol. 2, no. 1, on page 6, col. 3.
In the article about the analysis of the survey, I had written that "94%
said that the Apple II family of computers was only an educational machine."
Wrong! What I had intended to say, correctly, was that 94% said that the
Apple II family computers is NOT only an educational machine. The reprinted
survey question was correct.
Thanks to you sharp-eyed readers who pointed this out. The Road Apple
has no intention in assisting the Macintosh marketing manure campaign.
Man bites dog
When I wrote the bit about AppleWorks GS being a dog, I wondered if I
was the only one who felt that way. Most of the articles I've read about
"FidoWorks" praised its power, features, fiber content of the
package, etc. Did I miss something? Was I the only one going the wrong way
on a one-way street? Do I need more fiber in my diet? What?
Apparently I'm not the only one critical of AppleWorks GS. In the March,
'89 issue of inCider, Eric Grevstad ends his article on the program with:
"For now, AppleWorks GS' fatal problem isn't Claris' fault: It's
the thousands of people happily using AppleWorks, some TimeOut additions,
and Publish It!. They don't need AppleWorks GS, and they won't wait for
Thanks, Eric. That comment pounded out a few dents in my self-image,
such as it is. A nod and wink from The Road Apple to ya and salute from
the other end to AppleWorks GS.
Quote of the year
"We are not out to cause pain and suffering of people in any way."
Robert LeBaube, IRS Director of Taxpayer Services
from The (Portland) Oregonian, March 11, 1989.
If it true that Apple, Inc. is being sued by, of all people, the Beatles?
Seems that way back when Apple, Inc. was first getting started, the Beatles
were contacted to see if the fledgling computer company could use the name
of their record company, Apple Records and the bite-out-of-the-apple logo.
It was OK with the Beatles as long as Apple Computers did not get into
the music business.
Does the term MIDI mean anything to you?
If this is true, it's certainly poetic justice given the sue-happy track
record of Apple, Inc. lately.
Overheard, part 2
What's with national Apple publications dropping the word "Apple"
from their titles? Both Open-Apple and A.P.P.L.E. Co-op have changed their
names---A-2 Central and TechAlliance respectively. Methinks there might
be a bit of legal skullduggery going on between the Apple, Inc. legal types
and publications with the name "Apple" in their titles.
Meanwhile Sculley is in Japan. Trying to make a production deal for the
Golden Bridge, perhaps? Better he should stay home and put out a few fires.
Word is that even Macintosh owners are getting a bit testy about Apple,
Road Apple prediction: Sculley will not last the year with Apple, Inc.
OK everybody, grab your hankies.
A "Dear John" letter
You don't know how much it hurts me to be writing you this letter. You
see, I've been in the family for years; more years than you, in fact. I've
been around since software came on cassettes. Throughout all these years,
I've felt what can only be described as love for my Apple. It's been such
a big part of my life that I couldn't begin to imagine doing without it.
I've always been fiercely loyal to the company, too. Through good and
bad times I've stood by it because I believe in it. It's been the American
Success Story, the cutting edge of a new way of life and more. I've been
proud to be a part of it, even if only as one of the many at the bottom
of the network; what you call the "user base."
But what's happening, John? What is happening to our family? I'm starting
to feel very lonely, and I don't like it. Many of the family have left us.
More are leaving every day, and the ones who are left are very angry. I
can't see them staying around for much longer, and I can't say I blame them.
Oh, I'll still be around. Still working away happily on my Apple long
after they, and you, and the whole damn company are gone. That's what's
going to happen, John. You see, I'm a hacker. I can cut it on my own. But
you are going to lose out, because you are losing the lifeblood of the company,
the average user. We hackers gave birth to the company, but it's the average
user coming in and staying with it that nourish it, and keep it alive.
They're leaving, John. They're leaving because they aren't getting what
was promised. And because once they buy into the family, they are left to
fend for themselves. And because the people they buy from forget their name,
unless they walk back in the store asking for more merchandise. And because
the competition is just that, good healthy capitalistic competition. Those
folks are doing all right for themselves because they're fighting for their
Apple has built an unassailable wall of their merchandising structure.
But it's working backwards, John. The People on the Outside are not getting
what they're asking for, and you don't see it. Or else, God forbid, you
don't care. You're sitting safe in the Tower while the kingdom is moving
Don't believe me John? Try signing onto some of the non-company supported
bulletin boards around the country.
What's a hot topic? The good news is Applied Engineering's PC Transporter.
People are so tired of fighting the company that they are glad to be able
to get away from it without completely re-fitting their system. Ask AE about
their sales figures.
The bad news is lots of people are telling of how much more satisfied
they are with their MS-DOS machines and the service they're getting from
those sources. Worse yet, many are dealing with the problems they are having,
getting more unhappy all the time, and telling more and more people about
it. Now the MS-DOS folks are starting to be kind to us poor Apple people.
This is very embarrassing, John.
Please, check this out. It's happening all over the country through a
form of communication that didn't exist before the company helped create
it. The electronic network has given us instant information nationwide.
It's not all good.
Oh, I've seen the Fortune 500 list. Very impressive as far as that goes.
You're making a Good Profit.
You are making it by duping first time buyers, soaking them for a bundle,
leaving them high and dry, and going looking for more fresh marks. I can't
really believe that it's happening on purpose, but it is happening. Often.
How long are you going to stay in the 500, John? The computer industry
is not a chain letter. You're going to run out of new money, and all the
vision in the world will not keep the company afloat. Where will you be
then, John? Into another big business? Sorry if that sounds cold, John,
but it is getting cold out here. We are starting to wonder, what are you
really in it for? Do you care about us? Or are you more concerned with your
You, more than most, remember where it all started. You pass that Apple
I circuit board in the lobby every day. Some of us will still be in garages
and basements across the country and around the world ten, twenty, or more
years from now doing what the Man Who Started A Revolution was doing before
he ever dreamed of selling anything. Will we be doing it with collector's
Yes, I heard your AppleFest speech, John. It sounded good. Can you make
it happen? You sure can. But will you? You'd better hope so. I'd hate to
see you called the man who took the country's fastest rising business for
a nose dive.
Before I go, I want you to know that this letter is not meant to be just
a catchy way to write an article for this little newsletter of ours. I am
writing this letter directly to you, John Sculley, and it is just the surface
of how I really feel. I need to have you know just how I really feel, because
there aren't many of us left out here who are going to bother to do that.
Except by purchasing something else, and bad mouthing Apple Computer Incorporated
for as long as the bad taste stays with them.
Here's a little story for your consideration. In 1960 the President challenged
the country to do the unheard of: Place a man on the moon in ten years.
With the engineering world's best people firmly in command, they accomplished
it. They also developed, in the process, many new technologies and devices,
one of which was the microprocessor. For every dollar that went from the
country to the space program, five dollars worth of new inventions came
out, to the benefit of the entire country.
Then, the engineers in charge were replaced with professional managers,
ostensibly to keep things within budget. From then on things cost four times
as much to do in twice the time. It all climaxed with the world's most highly
publicized multiple murder. I believe the quote from the man who chose to
ignore the engineer's warning about the O-rings was, "What do you want
me to do, delay the launch until April?".
I see some very scary parallels, John. Nobody is going to die, of course,
but there's been a whole bunch of divorces in our family by the ones you
can't afford to lose.
I'll still be here, John. And when my old II Plus gives out, I know what
my NeXT computer will be. Unless you can really turn that vision of yours
into reality, I'll still be here, and there may be a whole stream of one
time consumers for a while, but our family will be gone.
Please don't leave me, John.
Sr. Editor, The Road Apple
For the many Road Apple subscribers, well, two anyway, who wanted to
enter the "Name The Road Apple Horse Contest," there will be no
contest. I know this comes as a great disappointment to you, but such is
life. The horse has already been named. His name is "Puckey" as
in horse puckey.
Naming pets is much more difficult than naming children. Naming children
is easy. Just pick the name of a distant wealthy relative with the life
expectancy of a Mayfly and be sure to let the relative know you've named
the baby after him or her before he or she becomes very quiet for a very
long time. Use the inheritance to buy more computer stuff for "the
Pet names send a message to the world about your pet. Naming a miniature
Bitezenankle "Bruno" or a slobbering Mountain Pothound "Baby"
is just silly. That's why The Road Apple horse is named "Puckey."
It truly fits, given the nature of this rag.
Retail sales; the Missing Link
Over the past month or so, I've gotten no less than three letters and
read two articles complaining about the abysmal level of service, knowledge
and help from salesmen in the computer biz, both retail and mail order.
(Please note that I use the male gender "salesman" in this article.
It applies to both genders and I absolutely refuse to use the neologism
Computer sales is really the missing link in the industry, both as a
gap between the consumer and the product and as a description of most computer
salesmen I've come across. It's as if these merchants of misery crawled
out of the movie Tin Men and came alive, so to speak, in your local computer
I realize that salesmen have to make a living (They do, don't they?).
But, do they have to make a living at the expense of the consumer who walks
out with over-priced products that don't fit their needs and are mostly
garbage in the first place? Where is it written that computer salesmen must
be motivated by personal greed rather than meeting the need of the customer?
The average customer who could benefit from the power of a personal computer
is bait in a tank full of sharks when he or she walks into a computer store.
The signal for the feeding frenzy is given when the first salesman descends
upon the hapless victim.
Shark: Yes? May I serve you (preferably sunny side up on a bed of parsley)
You: Uhhh.. I was wondering if you sell the AllWays X128 computer? I hear
that it's a pretty good machine and a friend of mine....
Shark: (interrupting) The AllWays X128! Why, that went out with button
shoes, heh, heh. What you need is (smack, drool) the Mackontough Turbo 9000.
State of the art, 4 million jiggabytes, a RAM-ROM sump pump, a built-in
ipso facto, comes in a green or plaid cabinet and is on sale today only
for just $6,799.95. Cash or charge?
You: But..uh.. I wanted to see the AllWays. You know, what does it do,
that sort of thing.
Shark: Don't be silly. The AllWays was a good machine in its day, but its
day has passed, heh, heh. The Mackontough is the machine of today and tomorrow.
You wouldn't drive a 20-year old car on the freeway, would you?
You: As a matter of fact, I do drive a 20-year old car on the freeway and
everywhere else. It's all I can afford and I'm not about to pay more for
a computer than I paid for my first house. Now, let's see the AllWays computer.
Shark: (signaling to a sallow youth in a cheap suit) Clarance, our newest
sales associate, will show you the (ugh) AllWays, if you insist. (disappears
in "the back room")
Clarance: (apparently 19-years old, has never shaved and has a case of
terminal acne, approaches) You want to see the AllWays?
You: Yes, please.
Clarance: (walks over to a pile of boxes in a dark corner at the back of
the store and begins to toss them aside) It's here somewhere. Ah, this is
it, I think. Let's see. How do I start this?
You: (reach over and press a key marked "Start," the computer
whirrs and the screen lights up)
Clarance: Hey, that's pretty good. You must know a lot about computers.
I've never used one of these before.
You: What did you do before you sold computers, Clarance?
Clarance: I used to sell "No Solicitors" signs door to door in
Green River Ordinance towns.
You: How long have you been selling computers?
Clarance: Counting today, about three hours.
You: I see. Now could you show me what it does? What kind of software does
it use? I've heard the AllWaysWorks program is pretty good with word processing,
spread sheets and data base. I also hear that there are thousands of programs
the AllWays computer can use. What do you have?
Clarance: Gee, I dunno. I'd have to open a package and I can't do that
unless you buy the software first.
You: You mean that I can't test the software unless I buy it first? What
if I test it and don't like it?
Clarance: The store policy is that there is a 15% restocking charge for
opened and returned merchandise.
You: But, I just want to see how it works before I buy it.
Clarance: Sorry, that's store policy. We do have open software for the
Mackontough Turbo. It's up at the front of the store under all the flashing
lights. Why don't you go look at that?
Shark: (walking by, wiping fresh coffee stains off his tie and leering)
Well, have you seen enough of the AllWays? Follow me and I'll show you a
real computer, not an educational toy.
You: (In a daze, follow the Shark to the flashing lights while Clarance
tries to figure out how to turn off the AllWays. He finally jerks the plug
out of the wall.) Uhh..I'm just kind of looking, anyway. I'll...I'll be
back (when the Devil stocks ice skates).
Shark: Wait! The sale on the Mackontough ends today. Tell you what, if
you buy right now, I'll throw in a dozen sheets of printer paper...
You: No thanks.
Shark: ...and a blank disk...
You: Not today.
Shark: ...two blank disks...
You: (opening the door) I'll be in touch.
Shark: You're missing the chance of a lifetime. You'll regret not making
this deal today. Now's the time to buy. The Mackontough is the standard
of the industry. You can charge it with nothing down (except your credit
rating and first born male child).
You: (closing the door behind you) Thanks.
Shark: (walks to "the back room," giving Clarance a vicious jab
to the kidney on the way, mumbles) Drives a 20-year old car, huh. I'll give
my used car salesman brother a call. Should get something for a referral.
My personal experience with computer salesmen has been that the vast
majority are ill-equipped to help you meet your needs. They don't take the
time to find out what your needs are. They do not know their products and
they do not know what software and peripherals will help in a cost effective
way. They are waiting for that one big commission and spend a large amount
of their time thinking of ways to spent it. They are condescending to your
ignorance of the technical aspect of computers and inwardly laugh at your
innocent questions about applications.
Since 1980 I've talked with many computer salesmen. Only two were worth
the time of day. One I followed through three computer retail outlets until
he finally got out of the business and moved to the east coast. The other
was snapped by Apple, Inc. and is now conduction workshops where he gives
the corporate Macintosh manure spiel like a brainwashed prisoner of war.
Luckily I have learned enough through talking with colleagues that I am
able to walk up to a computer salesman and negotiate a deal that is reasonable.
To those who are new at the computer game I would advise that they talk
to users, especially those who are members of a user group. Listen, ask
questions, learn, read the reviews and ads, make up your own mind. Then,
armed with knowledge, march into your computer store and demand a demonstration.
Cut your deal and walk out.
A friend recently ordered a product through mail order. The wrong item
was sent. When a call was placed with the vendor describing the problem
and requesting information about returning the product, my friend was informed
that a 15% restocking charge would be levied. Now, that stinks on ice. It's
time to raise bloody hell with consumer protection folks and spread the
word of this dirt-bag mail order firm. That's what I told my friend and
that's what I'm telling you.
It seems to me that computer salesmen should be able to sell the products
needed to meet your needs at a reasonable price and still make a tidy sum.
Happiness is seeing the pictures of the computer sales missing links on
the sides of milk cartons.
In truth, the intelligent computer salesman (oxymoron?) meets the needs
to the customer; the others meet their own needs.
Sell the II, buy a Mac
There are Apple II owners who have been having second thoughts about
keeping their trusty old machines and not being buried under mountains of
Macintosh marketing manure. A friend, who sells business applications for
the Apple II in a mid-western city, is seriously considering dumping the
II for a Mac. He has been a loyal supporter of the II and its products;
with more than two decades of computer experience behind him, he is no Johnny-come-lately.
He is dedicated to the II computers, but the pressure is getting to him.
I'm sure he's not alone.
My advice is: Stop! Don't do a thing until you answer the following
1. How far have you "pushed" your Apple II? Do you honestly
believe that you use your Apple II to its capacity or have you reached just
one of the many plateaus and are just resting there?
2. How many peripherals have you added to your II? Do you have two 3.5-inch
drives and two 5.25-inch drives? Do you have a hard drive? Do you have FingerPrint?
Do you have a modem? Do you have ThunderScan? Do you have a Zip or Rocket
Chip? These and other peripheral devices can make your Apple II just as
good as or better than a Mac.
3. What's your software library like? Do you have some of the great Apple
II programs and the latest enhancements? AppleWorks souped up with enhancements
from Beagle Bros will whip the pants off the Mac stuff. Need more data base
power? How about dBase Master from Stone Edge Technologies, Inc.? Nothing
in the Mac library can touch it.
4. How much have you invested in your Apple II and are you willing to
let it go down the drain and turn around and pungle up even more bucks for
a Mac? What are you going to do five years from now when the Mac is obsolete?
And, what about all the dough invested in Apple II software that will not
work in a Mac? Is that going, too? Do you want to hock everything for the
new software (Mac stuff ain't cheap)?
5. Have you checked out Apple II software from JEM or Sage Productions?
Have you seen the article in the March, 89 inCider about income tax form
available for the II? There are still some stubborn software developers
who are churning out some great stuff for the Apple II.
6. Have you taken a look at your faithful old Apple II as a basic computer
that can be upgraded almost without limit? Rather than throw it away and
start over, why not bring it up to meet your needs and save money in the
For those of you who, like my friend, work with business applications
consider the Apple II for your clients. It's cheaper, easier to run, readily
available (if not from Apple, then Laser) and there are more software programs
out there. I simply can't imagine that a small to medium business could
not benefit from a souped package of Apple II computers and enhanced AppleWorks
at a price that would make the Macintosh blush with envy.
The power of the Apple II comes not so much from the hardware and software
as it does from the creative energy and thinking of those who use it. New
things are discovered every day.
The following is a condensed version of an article reprinted from Offline,
the newsletter from INF0*SHARE Corporation.
It is reprinted with permission.
inCider On-Line: An INFO*SHARE Exclusive
On October 27, 1988, INF0*SHARE had the pleasure of hosting a teleconference
with inCider magazine's Dan Muse and the other top editors. The following
is an edited transcript of that teleconference.
From inCider: Rick, also from inCider tonight are Paul Statt, Senior
Editor and Lafe Low, Review Editor.
From Bruce: Mr.Muse, since Apple has come out with the GS/OS System Disk
that will, in time, allow the IIGS to read Mac files, do you foresee Apple
using the IIGS as the missing link between the Apple II systems and the
From inCider: This is Paul Statt answering. We think that Apple's strategy
is pretty clear... it wants to make all its machines able to read files,
and write files for any other machine. Macs already read and write Apple
II files, so you might say that the Mac is the missing link, but we wouldn't.
From Jeff: Do you think Apple will come up with an answer to the NeXT
or just ignore it, and what is your opinion of NeXT's chances in the marketplace?
From inCider: The Macintosh II is an answer to the NeXT machine. It is
an impressive machine though. If Jobs has the money to market it correctly
and can encourage developers to support it, it could do well in education.
Of course, with the Mac back in 1984, Jobs had the Apple II as a cash cow
to use to fund the Mac line until it got up to speed, which is only recently.
With NeXT, he doesn't have the luxury of having a constant cash flow. Lafe,
Paul? Any comments? Jobs thinks he made the Mac a success; he didn't, he
just made the machine. The Mac was a joke back in '84, and only Apple's
expensive support has stopped business from laughing. Support and adding
stuff like color and slots - where did Apple ever get those ideas?
From Rick: Do you think Apple will ever "catch up" with the
IBMs (as an example)? The IBM systems just kind of blew up when they came
on the market. Apple has just always plodded along.
From inCider: MS-DOS machines did seem to explode onto the market. IBM's
open architecture had a lot to do with that. With so many cheap but powerful
clones out there, developers were happy to put their development dollars
in the IBM market. Will Apple ever allow clones? I don't think so.
From Dundee: Mr. Muse, I understand some PC users feel Apple II systems
have the best graphics. Do you agree, and if not, what PC do you think has?
From inCider: We think the IIGS has graphics as good as any other machine,
but we're biased. The Amiga is real close, and maybe even a little better
than the II for some things like animation. For a still picture, the IIGS
is as good as anything.
From Bruce: Do you see Apple speeding up the CPU on the IIGS mother board.
Or do you feel that they will allow third party companies to supply the
speed up boards?
From inCider: Apple is and will continue to encourage third parties to
support the GS. Right now, Transwarp GS is badly needed. Programs like Medley
and AppleWorks GS need more speed than the GS has. Lafe Low says GS programs
are screaming for speed. The question is will anyone but Applied Engineering
get behind the GS. Will Apple produce a faster GS, yes; it's on its way.
UltraMacro from Beagle Bros' TimeOut series
There is not a single AppleWorks enhancement product from the TimeOut
series that is not first rate. There are some that the average AppleWorks
user could do without. UltraMacro is not one of them. If you have AppleWorks,
you simply must have UltraMacro.
Macros, for the one person out there who may not know what a macro is,
are a short, simple two or three key-stroke command that accomplishes a
complex operation. For instance, to underline a word or phrase you had to
set the courser, hit the Open-Apple and O keys to access the Options list,
type in UB for Underline Begin and hit the Escape key to get back to the
document. To end the underlining, you hit the Open-Apple and O keys to get
back to the Options, type in UE for Underline End and Escape. With UltraMacro
you follow the easy steps in the documentation to create a macro to do each
of the commands. To underline a word or phrase with my GS, I simply hit
the Option and 7 keys. To end the underline, I hit the Option and 8 keys.
Anything you can do within AppleWorks, you can do with a macro.
The disk comes with a number of macros; some are excellent and some are
not very useful, at least for me. The documentation encourages you to make
your own custom macros and I urge you to do so, too. Change some of the
common commands that come with the disk and make your own macros. With UltraMacro
there is virtually no limit to the number of macros you can have. The problem
is remembering all of them. I use about 25 or 30 on a regular basis, but
I have about 150 available.
UltraMacro can also be used with other TimeOut programs like Graph, Page
Preview, Word Count, etc. If you want to show off, you can set up a two-key
macro that will create a spreadsheet, put in the raw data and turn that
into a graph in the twinkling of an eye. Of course, setting up the macro
will cost you several night's sleep, but I'll bet it would be fun for some
hacker out there.
For you UltraMacro owners, I'll give you a freebe. This macro did not
come with my program disk and I had to write to UltraMacro author Randy
Brandt for it. It's the most useful one I have and I use it all the time.
It saves the contents of the desktop to the current disk and clears the
desktop; nice to have when you quit for the time being. The key stroke is
Option (Solid Apple) Escape. Here is the macro:
<sa-esc>:<all oa-q : rtn : oa-s :
oa-q esc>4<rtn rtn :
x = peek $c55 :
if x > 0 then rpt>!
See your software dealer and happy macro-ing.
The Road Apple has received a few complaints that it is against the Macintosh
computer. Initially this was true way back last year when I started this
newsletter in a fit of pique over an Apple, Inc. presentation to educators
I attended. At the time, The Road Apple was privately circulated to a few
"movers and shakers" in the business. I even had a "Sack
the Mac" phrase on the letterhead.
Once I got the venom out of my system, I realized that a solid pro-Apple
II stance was really much better and that I wasn't against the Macintosh
as such. I was really against Apple, Inc.'s Macintosh Marketing Manure (please
don't say "3-M") of pushing Macintosh computers at the expense
of the Apple II line. For that reason I dropped the "Sack the Mac"
but retained the "Semper Apple II," which more accurately reflected
the thrust of The Road Apple.
It really galls me that Apple, Inc. is (1) shoving the Macintosh down
our collective throats and, (2) pulling the rug of support for the Apple
II line out from under our feet. Apple, Inc. has forgotten who made it possible
for it to be successful and even develop the Macintosh. This is problem
when MBA (Masters of Business Annihilation) types take control of a consumer
driven corporation and meeting the need of the customer is replaced by meeting
the greed of the managers. I use the attempt to corner the memory chip market
as an example of greed. Don't the Apple, Inc. managers remember the silver
venture of the Hunt brothers?
To put all of this into perspective, consider the following: What if
Apple, Inc. had developed the Macintosh first and then brought out the Apple
IIe? How would Macintosh owners react when they are told that their computers
are obsolete and fit only for home and elementary school applications? How
would they feel about production cut-backs and no product development? How
would they feel that the only real source of technical assistance is a user
group instead of the company that made the machine or the dealer who sold
it? How long would General Motors last if the only place you could get help
with your Chevy is a Chevy user group?
Your Honor, I rest my case. Semper Apple II!
Vol 2, #3
From the Publisher, Al Martin
This issue of The Road Apple was mostly the work of Senior Editor Dennis
McClain-Furmanski, a most dedicated Apple II user. Dennis heads up our east
coast office in Virginia and has been our best source of tech information.
Also included this time is materials from Jack Nissel, Contributing Editor
from Philadelphia, another avid Apple II supporter. Both of these gentlemen
are most welcome additions to The Road Apple
No BS about BBS
by Dennis McClain-Furmanski, Senior Editor
For those of you who are wondering what the BBS (Bulletin Board Systems)
modem-mania is about, I've written a little introductory here for your information.
There's a whole world of users out there that you can be interacting with,
and like many other things, getting started can be scary. There's not really
all that much that's hard to understand. If you aren't familiar with BBSIng,
I'll walk you through the most popular parts.
Getting set up and online is the hardest part. This often entails a great
deal of unprintable words, and considering using tools on your machine that
usually don't come to mind, like hammers. The best I can tell you in this
respect is go to a dealer who will work with you for your modem and software.
Once you do get online, and get onto a board, you will find plenty of
new and wonderful things you can do.
My favorite, and the most time spent on the systems I play on, is Chat.
(The systems usually like to call this "teleconference," but that
makes it sound more stuffy than it ends up being). When a system has more
than 1 line, the computer(s) can be set so people can talk to each other.
It's rather like CB radio, but with computer people instead of truckers.
Communication found a whole new concept in talking to 8 people at once,
and the computer helping you keep the conversations straightened out. When
you get here, you may find some "secret code." When you type your
conversations, you start to abbreviate many often used phrases. Some of
the things you might see are: BTW = by the way, BRB = be right back, REHI
= hello again, and even some pseudo-graphics like a smiley face :-) with
a wink ;-) and even a kiss :-* .
Online games: About the same as offline games, except some of them can
also take advantage of multi-line capability, and have multi-player games.
Otherwise, it's pretty much a waste of phone time; you can play at home
without tying up your phone. But the users like it. So do sysops (system
operators) of boards you pay for.
Message bases: Continuing conversations on any topic. Generally, any user
can start one, and any can contribute. Most systems have several of these
on different computer types, hardware, software, "adult topics"
(a big draw), politics, religion, you name it... More or less like the chat,
but not in real time.
Uploads and downloads: A place for sending in and pulling down programs,
information files, etc. Public domain and shareware can finally compete
with commercial markets since they can be distributed this way. Most systems
will receive a file, test it for viruses, and put it up when they are sure
that it will work and is not infected. This can suck up a great deal of
time online, and if someone is downloading a lot without contributing to
the board, and tieing up the lines, they are considered a "leech"
and frowned upon. Pay for service boards can't do much about those who download
and don't upload, but free or club owned boards will often delete that user.
Much of the best software available today is found on the boards; TIC (Talk
Is Cheap), a terminal program is shareware and easier to use than anything
on the market. BYE80 is an 80 column version of Bird's Better Bye from Beagle
Bros. They saw it, didn't want it and gave the author permission to put
it out in public domain. GIF, Graphics Interchange Format, allows many computers
to exchange hi-res pictures and display them, not just among Apples, among
Databases: There are as many of these as there are message boards, usually
run by a SIGop (special interest group operator). You send in info, and
if they find it useful, they post it, an umpired version of the message
boards. Often larger boards will have local interest info, news weather,
movies, restaurants, etc.
Sysops, the guys or gals who run them, are generally slaves for the fun
of it. I'm burned out after a month, trying to get it going, but I wouldn't
trade it for anything!
The users are such a wide variety, that you are guaranteed to learn a
lot. My main network I belong to has regular get-togethers, like bowling,
beach parties, and other activities, so it's as much a social thing as any
A new move in the pay boards is to have advertisers foot the bill so
it doesn't cost the users at all! This only works in local boards, though.
Try the local boards first! No sense running up your long distance bill
learning how to get around in this electronic playground. The "BIG"
boards cost enough as it is without the long distance charges added in and
they are bewildering to new users.
Ready to log on? Prepare to lose sleep. BBSing is more addictive than
anything else I've ever done with computers. And all the action happens
at night. Prime time is 6 to 12 P.M. If you're trying to get on a popular
board, you will probably wait a while. Save your fingers, get a modem or
software with auto-redial; the record at my favorite BBS is 687 retries.
There are a few new long distance carriers for data lines, notably PCPursuit
and Starlink. They get you hooked into long distance lines for less than
the regular carriers, for data lines only.
Last is modem speed. Some people always insist on the best which this
month is 9600 baud. Most places support 2400 or less; all support 1200.
Above 1200, you sometimes get line noise interfering; above 2400, quite
a bit. No big deal when you're reading your electronic mail. But deadly
to a program transfer. Until the long distance lines can be cleaned up,
don't bother with 9600. 2400 is fine for most uses and they can always be
slowed down to 1200 for the noisy lines.
Ah yes, I just mentioned electronic mail. Same concept as you're used
to, but delivered instantly. Overnight delivery? Bah. Try cross country
at 186,282 miles per second.
You may see me around the boards. Some of us use our "handles"
everywhere. Try looking for me, (@ @)/DYNASOAR/---,ll
Happy modeming! Dennis McClain-Furmanski, sysop, Tidewater Circuit Board
(804) 468-9668, 8n1, 3/12/2400, 24 hours
From GEnie Livewire - Industry Briefs by Charles Bowen:
FCC Reaffirms fee exemption for online services . . .
The FCC has reaffirmed its earlier stand to exempt online information
services from paying certain access charges. Back in 1987 the FCC wanted
to eliminate that exemption. However, the commission backed down after loud
protests from information providers and end-users who said lifting the exemption
would mean dramatic increased connection fees.
The FCC renewed commitment came in a 300-page order from the commission
that generally approved the regional phone companies' Open Network Architecture
plans. The order used strong language to deny that some Baby Bell companies
were making a "back-door attempt" to impose such access charges.
HOWEVER, Supreme Court Ruling may let States Tax Data Transfer
A new U.S. Supreme Court ruling just might cause an increase in the cost
of data transmissions and long-distance phone service. the court upheld
Illinois' right to charge a 5 percent excise tax on long-distance calls,
unanimously rejecting claims by Illinois phone users and GTE Sprint Communications
that the tax was unconstitutional as an interference with interstate commerce.
Observers think other states probably will now enact similar taxes on
interstate calls. And the Washington Post commented that the ruling appears
to clear the way for taxing electronic data transfers that cross state lines.
If the elected folks can't get it one way, they'll find another to continue
their plunder. (ed.)
Just a thought or two
by Jack Nissel, Contributing Editor
With all of the hoopla and controversy surrounding the new Claris release
of AppleWorks GS (a.k.a. GSWorks), there have been several things not mentioned.
Claris has not done GS owners, myself included, any great service in
releasing GSWorks. In fact, if anything, they have shown just how little
regard they have for us. In buying StyleWare, they not only have omitted
a major competitor, but also have probably saved a fortune in not having
to design an AppleWorks-like program from the ground up for GS owners.
In regard to the name AppleWorks GS, let's call it what it is: GSWorks.
Claris is taking the name of a proven product and put it on a product that
has absolutely no connection with AppleWorks (should we call it AppleWorks
Classic?), other than the fact that it is sold by the same company. It was
not written by the person who wrote AppleWorks, it is not compatible with
the TimeOut series that was written for AppleWorks. it cannot read any AppleWorks
files directly except word processing files, it does not load as quickly
as AppleWorks, it does not print as quickly as AppleWorks and it is so full
of bugs that the reason to run this program from a hard drive is that you
can speed up the time it takes to crash. For these reasons, I would like
to start a campaign to call AppleWorks GS what it is: GSWorks.
I am sure that StyleWare had a very good product going when it decided
to make GSWorks. It's a shame that Claris ruined it.
If we let Claris know that we are mad as hell and we won't take it anymore,
that we want them to design good software from the ground up for our Apples
and not buy halfway finished products released before they are ready, that
we won't believe their BS (bovine excrement, ed.) about putting the name
of a good product on something that is as buggy as an old mare in July and
try to pass it off as if it were cut from the same mold and the original
software and if we band together, only then will Apple, Inc. understand
that Apple II owners are not second class citizens and won't be treated
Speaking of second class, take a look at page 46 of the March, '89 A+
magazine. There is a full-page ad form Cordata Technologies, Inc. about
their Apple IIe and IBM compatible computer, the WPC Bridge.
I have no problem with their computer, since I have never used it nor
read any reports about it. I do, however, have a problem with a portion
of their ad. On the left column of the page the fourth paragraph down reads:
"So with the WPC Bridge, students can master Apple IIe programs and
graduate to IBM-DOS quickly and easily."
What's this crap about "...graduate to IBM-DOS..."? When you
graduate from something you move up to something better, I assume. Is Cordata
saying that the IBM is better than the Apple? Itg sure sound like it to
me. And, then to place this ad in an "Apple" magazine is even
more of an insult. I have not seen this ad in inCider, Nibble or Call A.P.P.L.E..
I wonder if they refused to run it because they did not like the fact that
Cordata makes it seem that the Apple is a second class machine.
If you feel angry as I do about this ad, let Cordata know. Their toll-free
number is 1-800-524-3802 or, in California, 1-800-524-2671. Write to 1055
W. Victoria St., Compton, CA 90220
As I said before, we have to let companies like Apple, Inc., Cordata
and the rest of them that think the Apple II is a second class computer
or a toy that we are mad as hell and we won't take it any more. Let them
know that we will not buy their products if they treat us any other way
than what we are, first class computer owners.
We must also support companies like Beagle Bros, Applied Engineering,
Stone Edge Technologies and others that do their best to fill the void in
the Apple II world and fill it extremely well.
Stalking the wild Apple: On the road to Boston
by Dennis McClain-Furmanski, Senior Editor
As though preparing me for the AppleFest, the drive up to Boston was
filled with pleasant occurrences to sharpen my senses. The Massachusetts
spring was filled with budding trees yellow, red and white. Some of the
buildings carried names I'd only seen in books and magazines; Helix, AI
Alpha, Wang and Data General. A mix of organic and technical that was surprising,
but not at all at odds. An omen, as I look back now. Oh, there were plenty
of things to keep me busy writing for The Road Apple. I'm not going to be
turning this into a travel essay, but the show itself was a pleasant experience
from start to finish.
As could have been easily predicted, many of the attendants were parents
with children, and teachers. Many booths were set up by companies just for
software that they would be interested in. But there were also many hardware
and software booths catering to the hardest core techie.
I could join in with the rest of the Apple world's journalists and review
or criticize the products shown, but I think we're all going to get plenty
of that from all the other sources.
I think The Road Apple is less of an addition to the current journalistic
fray, and more of a piece about the Apple and the people who love it. So
I will tell you about that world, and the people in it, and most of all
how it made me feel.
Way back in the days when the Steves went to shows together to show off
their brain child, they captured the front door booth, right where everybody
could see them. Now that it has their name on it, the company chose their
spot as the center of the floor, giving the "first impression"
spot to two retailers.
My first impression as I entered was that of stepping into a shopping
mall. And, a horrendously busy one at that. It only took a few more steps
into the show to see that there was much more than merchandising going on.
There was a real interest from the representatives in presenting the products
that these consumers would use to change their lives.
My vote for the neatest looking booth goes to Beagle Bros for the mock-marble
walls with inset monitors, and keyboards below, computers out of sight.
A real work of showmanship and art.
The most activity at the show went on around the inCider/A+ booth, where
it was quite obvious that someone KNEW how to present a show for the people.
They definitely get my pick for the AppleFest Oscar. They also had a computer
set up for anyone to type in their comments about Apple Inc., to whom they
would be delivering the information after the show. I stopped there once
and typed in a few things. I'll bet you guessed that, though. For those
of you with subscriptions to both magazines, as you would have hoped, they
are adding the issues due from both together and you'll receive the total
number of issues of the combined magazine.
Zip Technologies and Laser both had big flashy booths that would have
sat well on the main floor of the Consumer Electronics Show, just a tad
over-done for an AppleFest. Sometimes too much show looks like there's something
you're trying to make up for. Zip countered that feeling by having their
demos running right out front where you couldn't miss them. But Laser made
you walk INSIDE, which makes it seem like you're on their turf. A bit intimidating
sometimes. But these two tied for the Las Vegas Award for Splash from me.
To Zip's credit, at several booths I heard questions of "Is it compatible
with speed ups?" or else the assurance from the sellers that it had
been tested and worked fine with speed ups. When it becomes an issue of
compatibility to the point where you need to take it into account when making
purchases and you don"t already own the thing, I'd call that some kind
of making it.
Applied Engineering had a big set up, but not all chrome and spotlights,
so they came off a bit more personal. Besides, the sight of a green circuit
board covered with chips is a friendly sight to us old hackers, and just
like their magazine ads, they had plenty of those in sight.
My Nice Guy Award goes to Roger Wagner who personally demoed HyperStudio
for me, telling me what went into programming the stacks he was showing.
It wasn't because of my press badge either. I watched him demo to a couple
of other viewers before and after me. I think when a person loves his product,
it shows. And he does, because it did.
In total, the show was done very well, and my pick of the year for Best
AppleFest Promoter And General Person-In-Charge goes to Cambridge Marketing
and the big cheese, Mike Dodge. Even if they are the only group that puts
on AppleFests, and Mike is the only guy in charge, they were all so nice
and helpful that they deserve some kind of award. Mike was kind enough to
take the time to have a chat with me, and it was definitely the high point
of my trip. He and his people are a pleasure to work with, and I look forward
to seeing them in San Francisco.
So I didn't say anything about Apple yet... Well, I had some nice things
to say about some folks and didn't want to cause too much confusion. But
I will say that some of the Apple people a very nice. Actually most of them
probably are, or else get left back at Cupertino.
In all fairness, their booth was tastefully done, although the outer
walls covered with computers and monitors looked like a science fiction
movie. And everybody you talked to was so pleasant. Their presentation of
the new products, System Disk 5.0 for the GS and the Video Overlay Card
were informative and NOT all glitz and golly-gee-whiz. The people doing
the demos knew exactly what they were doing and hardly a hardware failure
It was a great trip and well worth the effort. I'm glad I went. And I
hope to see many of the people that I met again. But now it's time for the
other side of the story, and I'll think I'll leave the folks with nice mentions
to their own article and not mix up what I have to say about the nasties
in the same place. And so, onward.....
The Mature Market grows up
by Dennis McClain-Furmanski, Senior Editor
I suppose it was inevitable that after the chaotic and exuberant beginnings
of the computer industry in the garages of Silicon Valley, those who knew
the market place would jump in and turn a big thing into a big money making
thing. After all, that's the American Way.
I did wonder for some time about the phrase that went along with this
change; it was said that "The Marketplace Had Matured." How one
could consider it maturation to set loose the industry leaders and advertising
people, and sell computers like so many fast food chain sandwiches, was
beyond me. But, hey, I'm a hacker, what do I know about business, right?
Well, I know when I'm getting a snow-job. I know that when I go to visit
the computer store of my choice and find a salesman who tried to sell me
stereo equipment 2 weeks before, that I'm not likely to get much useful
information. I know that when umpty-seven mail order places are busily undercutting
each other's prices that nobody will believe the manufacturers list price
as what the thing is worth.
Most of all, I know that flash and glitter and "FREE/SPECIAL/SALE"
gimmick-speak is NOT the way to talk to someone who is interested in intellectually
stimulating thinking tools and toys, unless they are only interested in
the having, rather than the doing. Oh, I like a good price as much as the
next poverty bound equipment collector, but I need to know a lot more than
just "How Much" to make my decisions. And, I want the people I
am dealing with to be able to TALK to me, not recite phrases from pamphlets
and try to close the sale, or spew forth a page full of prices and wait
for my check to clear.
I'm also dead certain that you can't talk to serious computer users,
people serious about expanding their minds with technology, as though you
were a politician running for office; you can't tell these people just anything,
expect them to believe you and continue to respect you.
I'm laboring under the assumption that AppleFest was the sign of a turning
point in the marketplace. There were a few booths where the focus was still
BUY ME, but more often, there were people interested in telling you, teaching
you and letting you make an intelligent decision.
This is not to say the County Fair atmosphere of the AppleFest was belittling.
Far from it, it was a great deal of fun. inCider/A+ was the showcase of
the fair, and they still managed to get the professional feel across.
But there was a difference that I saw in the way of doing business with
computer users. It had a lot to do with respecting them. They are becoming
much more than the headwaters of the cash flow. They are being seen as the
intelligent, inquiring people on whom the future of the companies depend
on. In short, they are now becoming RESPECTED by the manufacturers and retailers
that depend on them.
Perhaps it's because the weeding out is still going on, and those that
are left find that they can't continue to expect the seller's market they
had before. But I think it's more than that. It's been long enough since
the market "matured" that we have learned what the best price
sometimes means: The wasteland beyond point of sale with no support. A good
number of the booths at the show reflected this thinking, whether consciously
However, I finally felt as though I had been recognized as a person rather
than one point for a statistical average or the mark for a high tech ring
Unfortunately, there were exceptions. And our Apple Mater was noticeably
When I first entered their booth, I saw rows of people seated, watching
several video monitors as the "show" was being presented to them.
Entirely passive, almost television-like, the entire scene brought to mind
a certain award winning commercial from 1984 with scores of people listening
to Big Brother. Had I been carrying a hammer, I doubt that I could have
resisted fulfilling the role of the woman who smashed the screen. Every
hour more people filed in to have Apple Sales Presentations poured into
their heads. It was as if Janus, the two-faced god, wore a blindfold over
the eyes that looked into the past.
Worst of all for Apple Inc.'s part was the questions people asked about
the Mac and Apple II series.
One man in one of the technical question and answer sessions asked why
it was that Apple insisted on trying to sell Macs to universities, rather
than II's. When one of the Apple people told him that this wasn't the case,
he told her that she was wrong, because HE was the person who made the purchases
for his university, and had been actively pursued to buy Macs instead of
Apples. When she insisted that Apple offered the Apple and Mac both equally,
he reiterated that the sales people repeatedly tried to get him to change
his mind from Apples to Macs.
And Apple Inc. says they support both equally.
I ran across an APDA registered IIGS developer who told me if he asks
a GS question, he may wait a month for a reply. But a Mac question? He can
get an answer the same day. 98% of the APDA information he receives is Mac
oriented, even though he's registered as a GS only developer.
And STILL Apple Inc. says they support both equally.
Wake up, Cupertino. The market has finished maturing, and is now beginning
to grow up. Most of the others are learning that you can't talk to us as
though you were an incumbent union boss with all the votes bought already;
lying to us won't work anymore. You can't just sell at us, you have to talk
TO and WITH us, and speak truthfully; you are the ones that look ridiculous
when you quote the semantic equivalent of a balanced budget and tax cuts
at the same time, and just change the subject when somebody points out that
you are not telling the truth. People who use computers are at least average,
if not better, in determining what they want. They are not the same market
as the late night TV chopper/slicer/dicer buyers.
At first, I didn't know if I was embarrassed for the foolishness of those
still stuck in the "mature" market mindset of the money focused
managers, or if I was angry at being considered a programmable unit in the
merchandise collection machine. But now that I've seen that some of the
suppliers consider me more than a buyer of whatever it is they happen to
sell, I know exactly what I want.
I want my hammer.
Speaking of Apples
by Dennis McClain-Furmanski, Senior Editor
Sunday afternoon, 3:30. Half an hour before the AppleFest at Boston closes
down. Already the attendants are thinning, the booths closing up and the
excitement is starting to wane. Sitting in a conference room overlooking
the show floor and reflecting on what I saw, heard and felt.
After all the commotion, it's a little hard to think coherent thoughts;
my mind just wants to relax. And I'm only an attendant. The man across the
table from me must be feeling many times more than I the overwhelming relief
and probably a great deal of satisfaction also. He's Mike Dodge of Cambridge
Marketing, the man more responsible than anyone else for the show being
what it is.
Although many of us will never attend a show and virtually none of us
will ever put one on, I felt like it would be fitting to find out what kind
of thinking goes into putting on an Apple World's Fair.
Meeting at the end of the show was only happenstance; we both tried to
get together several times, but in such a high powered setting, it's hard
to keep up with all that's happening. But meet we did, and took a few minutes
out to chat about what we experienced, from opposite ends of the structure,
attendant and organizer.
RA: Thanks a lot for meeting with me, Mike. I know you must have a very
MD: Yes, very. Sorry I couldn't make it earlier, I had to introduce the
speaker for the closing presentations. Buy you a ginger ale?
RA: Sure, thanks. I just wanted to chat with you for a few minutes to get
your feelings on the show, and shows in general.
MD: Okay, no problem. What would you like to know?
RA: Well, for starters, what does it take to put on a show? I mean, besides
the obvious of lining up the retailers and such?
MD: Well, my job covers a lot of things. I'm responsible for getting the
speakers, getting them here, making sure the places for the presentations
are arranged, that kind of thing. And keeping up on things as they happen.
A lot of that; things change after they get started as you can imagine.
RA: Yeah, I bet they do. What is it that you focus on when you're making
the arrangements? I know that the booth space brings in a majority of the
money, but what is it that takes up the most of your time?
MD: Really, you can't separate the commercial parts from the presentations.
They work together, kind of a synergy. They support each other. Neither
would exist without the other. You can't really take them apart like that.
RA: Don't you have a feeling for which of them has the most draw; like how
much the booths contribute to the success of the show?
MD: Only in figures. You really can't say that one part is responsible for
this or that, they work too closely together.
RA: I see. My most important question is, are you having fun?
MD: Well, two weeks ago I wouldn't have said so (laughs) but today I am.
Yeah, I'm having fun.
RA: Thanks Mike, I really appreciated your taking time out to talk with
me. Hope to see you in San Francisco.
MD: Hope to see you too, Dennis. Is the Road Apple going to have some good
things to say about the AppleFest?
RA: Nothing but good things, Mike. I really enjoyed it all. Thanks a lot.
After talking with Mike, I made my way to the press booth so I could
send some of my work home over the modems that they had installed in some
GS's and Macs for us to use. After fighting with AppleWorks GS, one of the
Cambridge Marketing people, a young lady in charge of the booth whose name
I forgot (much to my chagrin, sorry.) tried to help out. Since MacNet wouldn't
work, she allowed me to use my own communications software to log on to
my system at home.
She didn't know the software that was provided by Claris, but being a
Mac user, I wouldn't have expected her to. And I didn't either. She tried
her best to help me, and was kind enough to let me do what I needed to get
my work done.
It's that kind of attention to the needs of the people that I saw all
around the show. From the placement of extra security people at the door
to check people through at higher traffic times, to having such kind and
helpful people on hand to help me do my job, to the head of the organization
taking a bit of time to talk to a "small" outfit. All that I saw
at AppleFest showed professionalism and people oriented thinking.
For taking the time for The Road Apple, for all your hard work and for
such a great job on giving us AppleFest, "Thank you" to Mike Dodge
and all the people at Cambridge Marketing.
by Al Martin, Publisher
After The Road Apple scoop (a word I should use with care considering
the name of this newsletter) of the inCider/A+ merger news, the next inCider
issue, May, '89, was the best ever. The June, '89 issue of inCider/A+, however,
was a disappointment. It didn't look so much like a merger as it did a collision.
Sort of like they picked up the pieces of a head-on and tried to put it
back together, in the dark, using flashlights, following the plans 1812
plans for the defense of New Orleans and wearing boxing gloves. Fer instance,
the "What's New" section was hacked up into bitty pieces, liberally
laced with meaningless graphics and set in more fonts than I care to count.
Now I don't know much about newsletters, much less magazines, but the
first (or second) rule is that you keep your fonts of a minimum. Did inCider
get all the left-over fonts from A+?
The format throughout the magazine is hard to follow and inconsistent.
How come Ruth Witkin doesn't get her name following the title of the article
"Borrowed Time 2"? The rest of the writers got their recognition
I know, picky, picky. It just seems to me that a merged magazine should
bring out the best of both, not something less than. Back to the drawing
Didja know that if you run The Road Apple through a copier backwards
you get a Satanic message? Run it through a shredder and you get the curse
of 10,000 MacIntosh salesmen having access to your unlisted phone number.
The Road Apple is going to Kansas City in July for the Apple Developers'
Conference sponsored by A-2 Central (Open-Apple). Hope to see you there.
Publish It! freaks interested in some great Publish It! templates should
write to C. E. Field Enterprises, 60 Border Drive, Wakefield, RI, 02879
for a price list.
Check stuff to print, from Cindy
Mea culpa on the UltraMacros story of last month. The Road Apple readers
have eagle eyes; must have been IRS auditors in previous life.
Anyway, if you want to make macros for italicized words in SuperFonts
hard copies, try the following:
<sa-<>:<awp : print "<ib>">! italics begin
<sa->>:<awp : print "<ie>">! italics end
Poor Choice Department: Programs Plus is running ads in inCider/A+ for
its electronic mall through Compuserve. To access them, you type in "GO
PP." Well, I'm no prude, but I'll be damned if I'll GO PP in their
mall or any other mall. After all, this is the United States, not some backward
third-world country where sanitation is, ahem, primitive. And, who's going
to clean up the mess all over my computer?
Premature Death Department: Just when "everyone knew" that
the Apple II was dead, out comes the video overlay card. Methinks that Apple,
Inc. is finally getting the message that the Apple II will not go away and
I submit this latest bit of stunning technology as evidence. Let's see what
they have to say when The Road Apple visits San Francisco in September.
Vol 2, #4
Copied from "News, Views, and Half-Truths
The latest gossip in the Mac Community"
MacGuidelines, July, 1989, p. 25
"II Far Gone
The future of the Apple II looks ever more bleak with the merger of A+
Magazine and InCider (sic). Software developers in The Valley have all but
forsaken the Apple II line and no new development is imminent. Buy your
Macs now: The GS has no future."
Oh, yeah? Read on.
The Apple II revolution, phase 2
This fall and 1990 will see the greatest number of Apple II developments
since the roll-out of the IIe several years ago. The rumors that the Apple
II is dead are dead. The rumors are dead as doornails, shot down by the
following products and developments:
1. AppleWorks 3.0, a completely new and improved version of the classic
standby, has been reworked by the Beagle Boys and "Classic" AppleWorks
author Bob Lissner, so you know it's a class act. Despite the minority opinion
of John Wrenholt of Scarlett (see open letter below), AppleWorks 3.0 will
be the standard by which other integrated programs are judged. No review
here, just read the trade and user group publications. This is the payoff
for the long-suffering Apple II users who remained loyal all these years.
The $79.00 upgrade and the $100.00 amnesty programs are a steal. It should
be ready for delivery by the end of August or sooner.
2. TimeOut upgrades to 3.0 will work on all AppleWorks beginning with
2.0. As far as I know, the "Beagle Buddy" system will still be
in force. The new installer system, found in TimeOut's ReportWriter, is
a gem. The upgrades most likely will be ready when AppleWorks 3.0 is released.
3. ReportWriter, a new TimeOut enhancement from Beagle Bros, is the greatest
business productivity enhancement ever brought to AppleWorks. This program,
along with AppleWorks 3.0, will make a business package that will knock
the socks off many of the Mac and IBM software offerings.
4. Barney Stone's DB Master Professional should be a real whiz-bang with
the 3.0 AppleWorks. Again, an incredible business productivity package that
can stand alone or merge with AppleWorks. (See Barney's offer of a free
subscription to II At Work elsewhere.)
5. System 5.0 for the GS is a huge improve of the original GS/OS (go
slow/or slower) system disk. It makes your GS a brand new machine. It's
so improved that the new documentation is a must. By the time you read this,
it, and the free disk upgrade, should be available from your Apple dealer.
6. HyperStudio, by Roger Wagner, is a breakthrough for GS owners in the
hypercard technology pioneered and touted by the Macintosh people. Tutor-Tech,
a hypercard program for the IIe and IIc from Techware, was release last
year and is still selling well.
7. Broderbund's new Print Shop is said to be greatly improved with all
sorts of dandy features.
8. Applied Ingenuity demoed an internal hard drive for the GS at AppleFest
'88 in San Francisco and now Applied Engineering has begun delivery of their
version, the Vulcan internal GS hard drive. Applied Engineering is also
selling the Conserver, the GS external fan and surge protector developed
9. Apple Inc.'s Video Overlay Card is no small announcement for those
who like to mess around editing video tapes and producing custom tapes with
computer generated graphics.
10. Nite Owl Productions, 5734 Lamar Ave., Mission KS 66202, has a replacement
battery, the Slide On, for the GS at just $9.95; a real cut from the $30-$50
or more charged by dealers for replacement.
11. Zip Technologies is cranking out their accelerator chips as fast
as possible with more designs in the works. Ditto for Rocket Chip and the
AE TransWarp for the GS; both are doing well. There are also rumors of AE
doing some research in a possible GS TransWarp chip.
12. Shrink IT, a new compacting freeware software package by Andy Nicholas
from Paper Bag Productions, c/o Andy Nicholas, PO Box 435, Moravian College,
Bethlehem, PA 18018, is a real advantage for those of us who like to send
files by modem or archive them using disk space to its best advantage.
13. The Ram 3.3, software that lets you easily load DOS 3.3 programs
on your GS by producing a DOS 3.3 RAM drive in the GS. RAM 3.3 uses all
the memory on a GS memory expansion board from 256k to 1.5meg. Contact RDC,
Inc., 408 S. Baldwin St., Madison, WI 53704 for details. They should be
at AppleFest San Francisco.
14. Rumors of the Apple GSx are all over the place. Seems that besides
being a new computer, a motherboard upgrade for older GS machines is estimated
to be in the $200-$300 range. There will be some extra ports (SCSI?) and
1 meg of memory at least. Sadly, the speed remains the same. Nothing of
substance in the wind about the GS-Mac "Golden Bridge." Maybe
15. Laser Computers is going gang busters with their Apple compatible
line. Demand is at the 12,000 units per month level. (See the A-2 Central
16. The banding together of the Apple developers at the A-2 Central Developers'
Conference will enhance the developers' and consumers' voice at the top
Apple, Inc. levels.
17. AppleFest Boston '89 was a smash hit and San Francisco looks to be
even bigger and better. With so many new products and developments, they'd
better put rubber doors in the Brooks Convention Center.
I do believe that the speculation of the death of the Apple II computers
is more than a bit premature. Semper Apple II!
AppleFest '89, San Francisco
If you haven't made your reservations for AppleFest this September, you'd
better get cracking. Coming on the heels of the very successful Boston AppleFest
last May, this one should be even better.
There are so many new products released and yet to be announced, that
the September show will be an Apple II lover's dream. I just returned from
the A-2 Central Apple Developer's Conference last week and I have a preview
of what's in store and it's exciting! The unique thing about the San Francisco
AppleFest is that it comes just before the Christmas buying season and the
developers have their best opportunity to showcase what's new and available.
The Road Apple will be there. Stop by the Pavilion, booth 350, and say,
"hi" or you can leave a message for me at the Amsterdam Hotel,
673-3277 or 441-9014. I'll be there from Sept. 20th to the 24th.
AppleFest always brings excitement. But that's not all it brings ---
people from all walks of life, chances to learn and opportunities to have
fun will all be part of this year's show. Here is a look at some of the
show-stopping activities at AppleFest San Francisco on September 22 through
As always, this year's AppleFest Conference is bursting with informative
and valuable presentations and panels covering educational, technical and
home applications for every conceivable computer user.
In the Computing in the Home and Office track, conference attendees will
find sessions on AppleWorks, desktop video, home office applications, desktop
publishing, games and more. A new exciting conference track is Technical
Solutions: Today and Tomorrow. These sessions are aimed at people who want
to know more about the technical side of things, such as programming, HyperCard,
graphics and the future of computer hardware and software.
Educators will also find plenty of sessions that cover the issues and
applications they face every day. They will also have the opportunity to
share their knowledge and experience in special educational roundtables,
informal discussion groups in specific subject/curriculum areas.
To make the AppleFest conference successful, we have a very impressive
lineup of celebrated speakers. Opening the show with the Friday Keynote
is Jean-Louis Gasse, President of Apple Products.
In the AppleFest Conference sessions the slate of speakers include top
editors from the leading industry magazines, noted educators and experienced
computer users who all promise to be informative, stimulating and provocative.
Here is just a sample to whet your appetite:
Bill Lord, Vice President of ABC News Interactive
Sally Bowman, Director to the Computer Learning Foundation
Alan November, A National Foundation for the Improvement of Education
Christa McAuliffe Educator
Cary Hammer, Director of Programming, Scholastic, Inc.
Al Martin, Publisher, The Road Apple
Jeff Orloff, Manager of Administrative Systems, Apple Computer
Dan Muse, Editor-in-Chief, inCider magazine
Keith Ferrell, Editor, Compute!
AppleFest will also offer those special extras that draw people to the
show. During the three days, thousands of dollars worth of prizes will be
given away including three Apple computer systems and a wide variety of
hardware and software products. There will also be the AppleFest special
presentations and question-and-answer sessions that will provide plenty
of information, tips and techniques on a plethora of computer topics. Sunday
will be Seniors' Day, with free admission for those over 60 and a special
SeniorNet presentation that will tell how computer-using senior citizens
are making computers work for them.
All in all, this AppleFest looks to be one of the most stimulating and
informative ever. It's definitely one you don't want to miss. For more information
Speaking of Apples
An interview with Alan Kay
by Dennis McClain-Furmansky, Senior Editor
Back in the old days (as computer time is measured) Steve Jobs made a
visit to Xerox's PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). There he saw computers
being run based on graphics presented on the screen instead of the otherwise
pervasive typed commands. He took the idea back to Apple, and changed the
face (pun intended) of computing forever.
The system he saw running was a language and operating system called
SmallTalk, and it was written by Alan Kay.
I had the pleasure to talk to Apple Fellow Dr. Kay (Ph.D., University
of Utah, 1969) while he was attending Navy Micro '89, a large hardware and
software show put on for the military users by NARDAC, and this year held
at the Virginia Beach Pavilion, in Virginia Beach, Va.
I located Dr. Kay at his hotel and he was kind enough to talk with me
for a bit about whatever came to our minds. It went something like this:
RA: Could you explain for our readers who may not be familiar with the term,
just what is an Apple Fellow?
AK: <Laughs> Well, I really don't know. The idea originated at MIT.
There are 55 of them at IBM. They're kind of the wild card people who work
on their own projects
RA: Who are the Apple Fellows?
AK: There's me, and Al Alcorn, who was with Atari, and Bill Atkinson who
did HyperCard. HyperCard was an Apple Fellow Project.
RA: Who were some of the past Apple Fellows?
AK: Well, Steve (Wozniak) is an honorary one. There was Ron Holt, and also
Rich Page who did the Lisa. He's now with NeXT.
RA: What kinds of things do you do?
AK: I visit Cupertino once a week, I collaborate with the groups there,
I work on projects. Sometimes we have to go to meetings about one of our
projects. When HyperCard was new, we had to "sell" the company
on the idea. And the rest as they say, is history. I also worked with the
Vivarium, a work project in Los Angeles with MIT and Oxford, working on
new ways of doing Artificial Intelligence, working on children and computers,
that kind of thing.
RA: What new ideas are you pursuing, what kind of new technologies?
AK: I've been writing languages for 20 years. I wrote SmallTalk when I was
with Xerox PARC. I'll continue to do more of that. I've written 11 languages
so far, only 2 of which have seen light.
RA: Well, if you did SmallTalk, when (Steve) Jobs came to Xerox and saw
it and got the idea for the Macintosh, then in essence it was really your
idea he used.
AK: Yeah, I guess. We had that system running on 6 MIPS (million instructions
per second) machines with 8" by 11" screens since 1973. There
were 2,000 of them in operation 6 years before Jobs saw them. You know,
most of the good ideas for computers were thought of before 1963. It's just
that the scientists didn't know they'd get the components small enough until
the space race, when they really got working on miniturization.
RA: The show that's going on here is primarily for the military. I was never
aware that this was one of the markets that Apple pursued.
AK: Oh, yes. They've had a government marketing type division for 3 or 4
years now. The Navy is one of our best customers.
RA: How about some dream ideas of yours for the future...
AK: Well, I'm still working on Dynabook, an idea I came up with in 1968.
It's basically a small portable personal terminal hooked up to a large database.
Kind of like the portables or laptops today, but with a lot more power and
information available behind them.
RA: I think I've heard of that. Wasn't that the idea that they used for
the personal news terminal in 2001: A Space Odyssey?
AK: I really don't know where Kubrick got his idea, but mine did have the
flat screen like that. It was meant to be a personal terminal. I am the
person who coined the term "personal computer," by the way. I
also think we need better user interfaces and better programming systems
RA: Are there any developments for the Apple II that you see as being significant?
AK: Oh, I don't know. The Apple II is going to be around forever, I think.
I think that the HyperCard program they're coming out with for the Apple
II is going to be the most significant thing for it for some time. Are they
showing that yet?
RA: Yes, as a matter of fact, Roger Wagner showed it to me himself at the
AppleFest in Boston a couple of weeks ago. They're shipping it now.
AK: Great. I think that will do for the Apple II what the graphics environment
did for the Macintosh.
RA: My last question, that I always ask everybody, are you having fun?
AK: Oh, yeah, sure. Most of the time, anyway. I even have fun when I'm on
trips like this, although I wish I didn't have to travel so much.
RA: Great. Glad to hear it. Thanks a lot for talking to me.
AK: No problem.
When a company pays someone to do whatever they want to do, trusting
their judgment and their mind, they are a very special individual. And when
they say our little silicon friends will be around forever, it is a very
strong affirmation of what we users already know.
For the glimpses into the past, into the future and deeper inside our
machines, and for the interview, thank you Alan Kay.
Navy Micro '89
In search of the lost vendor
by Dennis McClain-Furmanski, Senior Editor
A few weeks ago, I covered Navy Micro '89, at the Virginia Beach Pavilion.
Of course my first stop was the Apple booth. While trying to find out what
the company we all love to hate was doing, I noticed that all they had on
display were Macs.
When I asked the salesperson if they were still selling the II series,
he told me that there was a specific vendor
that handled all the Department of Defense and Government Services Administration
orders and that they would be glad to help me if I called them.
He gave me a catalog from this vendor, which showed the G.S.A. contract
prices, and pointed out the 800 number on the cover, in case I wanted to
Questioning him for some time about why they were only showing Macs turned
out to be a waste of time. It was obvious that he was so trained to sell
Macs that he was never even equipped with the answers to these questions.
Without a reason to stay, I wandered off to see what the better educated
salespeople were up to.
About half way through the show, what do I happen upon, but a booth from
that very same vendor that I had the catalog from. I stopped and asked them
why the man from Apple (sounds like some kind of cheap spy movie, doesn't
it?) told me to call them, when they were right here at the show.
Needless to say, they were quite upset that the company didn't even bother
to figure out that their own government outlet was present at the government
I didn't stick around to hear the end of it. I was already so amused
by the reign of confusion at Apple that I didn't want to start laughing.
I felt so sorry for the salespeople at the vendor's booth; ignored by their
sole reason to be at the show.
If I had been there shopping, instead of snooping for my articles, I
would have been so disgusted by Apple's behavior that I would have gone
searching for a professional acting computer company.
I did get the information I wanted, though. The IIe is still for sale,
and I can still order one through G.S.A. contract, through the Educator's
Discount Program, or straight from a dealer.
Isn't it nice to know someone still cares enough to find out these things?
Don't you wish everyone did?
Error and trial with First Class equipment
by Dennis McClain-Furmanski, Senior Editor
Sometimes things go your way, and sometimes they don't. When you're dealing
with hardware, there's a rather finite limit on problems, so they CAN be
solved eventually. It doesn't seem like it at the time, but it's true. All
it takes is the right information.
All hardware is engineered and manufactured somewhere along the line;
obviously, at the beginning of the line. When you aren't getting the information
you need to deal with a sticky wicket of a hardware problem, then you probably
aren't looking far enough up the line.
As far as I'm concerned, getting an outrageous quote for a repair job
is not getting the right information, unless ALL other avenues are exhausted.
First Class Peripherals has been selling the Sider hard drives for the
Apple family for a good number of years. Until the Vulcan hard drive from
AE appeared in the last couple months, theirs was the only hard drive still
configurable for DOS 3.3, ProDOS, CP/M and Pascal on the same drive. Many
folks would find this an interesting aside, but as a hacker of many years,
I consider this much to the company's credit. Supporting us old timers takes
on the aspect of Social Security. It's not much, but we sure appreciate
Perhaps I took this too personally when I tried to get help from First
Class with a problem, and got rebuked. But I really don't think so.
An old 5 meg Sider was being loaned to the public domain librarian of
my local users' group, and it developed speed problems. Having another of
these old beasts around, we set out to find the problem by swapping out
parts. It quickly
became apparent that the fault was in the Mini-Scribe controller on the
top of the unit.
The first stop in the hunt for repair info was a local SAMS Photofact
outlet. Their catalog showed that the offending part had no schematic printed.
Not surprising, but worth the try.
Straight from the horse's mouth as they say, we called First Class Peripherals.
When asked for the prints for the Sider, the answer was that we couldn't
have ANY.... but if we sent in the unit with $250.00, they'd be glad to
repair it. Being accustomed to paying high fees by association with Apple,
some people would have accepted this calmly. Knowing what service actually
costs to perform, I was lucky to escape with only a "BUFFER OVERFLOW"
in the unprintables department.
Trying the local First Class dealer was no more satisfactory, but much
less calloused; even though the controller was Mini-Scribe, not First Class,
we couldn't have the docs. Sorry.
Paging through the March issue of Computer Shopper revealed a Mini-Scribe
dealer. They couldn't help us since they sent in all their service work
to the company, but were kind enough to provide us with the 800 phone number
to the parts department there.
We connected with a woman by the name of Dawn, who was obviously well
versed with the company's line. After describing the problem, she immediately
said we could buy another card. They no longer manufactured the ST-506 drive,
#3012, but still stocked the parts. Cost, $73.00. A much better answer than
the previous offer.
For sheer academics, we pursued the documentation on the unit. Well,
now, that wasn't a regular request... they weren't prepared to fill that
kind of order... but she could arrange to have the entire volume of documentation
copied for us and mailed out in a couple days, for $25.00, plus $2.00 for
Now THAT was an offer from a helpful individual.
Although we didn't take her up on the offer of the documentation, my
faith in good service was restored. And in due time the aging hard drive
was back in action.
So I had an illusion revealed. The support for the old timers is more
out of a sense of selling what no one else will, rather than out of something
similar to my weathered sense of chivalry among hackers. Then again, this
sense is not dead everywhere, only at First Class Peripherals.
Sometimes you have to dig deep to find treasure. It's frustrating and
tiring. But with perseverance, you can turn up a real gem.
Back to the Hack.
Open letter to John Wrenholt, Publisher of Scarlett
Dear Mr. Wrenholt,
I think you did a disservice to the 5 million or so Apple II owners in
your damned-by-faint-praise review of AppleWorks 3.0 and the "Most
Expensive Program" sidebar in the June, '89 issue of Scarlett.
Your "Conclusion" of "...I see absolutely no reason to
rush out and purchase this (AppleWorks 3.0) upgrade. But at some time you're
going to be forced to spend the money to get the upgrade." Mr. Wrenholt,
there is every reason in the world to "'rush out and purchase this
upgrade.'" AppleWorks 3.0 is a quantum leap in the integrated software
biz. It's what Apple II owners have been dreaming about for years. It is
the beginning of the next Apple II Revolution and will give fits to the
smug Macintosh and IBM business productivity people.
There is no one more leery than I about the constant parade of upgrades.
For some reason, my sixth sense told me not to jump on the AppleWorks 2.1
bandwagon at the '88 San Francisco AppleFest, despite the ease with which
I could "Beagle Buddy" upgrade my hefty library of TimeOut enhancements.
That was then, this is now; that was AppleWorks 2.1, this is AppleWorks
3.0; that was a minor tremor, this is a major earthquake.
I've read the reviews of AppleWorks 3.0 in other publications and the
universal praise of the writers and reviewers. But, my enthusiasm of AppleWorks
3.0 is not based on what I've read. I've actually used AppleWorks 3.0 and,
by God, I'm impressed. The boys from Beagle have done their stuff. They
know what AppleWorks users want and they have delivered. And why not? After
all, they are the ones who kept AppleWorks alive and well with their enhancements.
They have taken a really good integrated program and made it a first class
program; a program that constantly and consistently stays in the top sellers
year after year.
My comments are directed to the sidebar mostly. What's with this "most
expensive" nonsense? You say AppleWorks requires more memory. Show
me one software program today that doesn't. My GS had to be beefed up to
1.25 meg just to run a few of the most popular GS programs and that certainly
is not the fault of AppleWorks. The fault, dear Mr. Wrenholt, is with Apple,
Inc. in the first place by being so damned stingy with the memory available.
Next you say that the AppleWorks user needs all the enhancements like
a spelling checker, file managers, etc. Road apples! The beauty of AppleWorks
and TimeOut is that the user can pick and choose which enhancements are
appropriate, useful and cost-effective; no one is forced to accept a complete
package with a bunch of personally useless add-ons. While UltraMacros is,
in my opinion, a "must have" for everyone, a person who uses AppleWorks
solely for word processing would more than likely be very well satisfied
with just QuickSpell (not necessary with AppleWorks 3.0) and Thesaurus with
no need for Graph or SideSpread. What a great concept.
Now don't blame AppleWorks for the need to go to a 3.5" disk or
a hard drive. First of all, AppleWorks can be run from one 5.25" drive
and the standard Apple, Inc. memory in the CPU if your idea of happiness
is disk swapping. There is really no "need" for 3.5" drives
or expanded memory or a hard disk. However, it's high time for the world
to give up the 5.25" format and make the 3.5" standard for many
obvious reasons. Besides, you don't have to buy Apple's high (and soon to
go higher) drives; there are a number of reasonably priced third party drives
out there to satisfy anyone's needs. Granted there are programs that demand
3.5" or hard drives, but AppleWorks ain't one of them.
$79.00 for the upgrade? What a bargain! The new documentation alone is
worth the price and the upgrade is the real thing. AppleWorks has got to
be the most pirated software in the history of personal computers and $79.00
is little enough to spend for such work. When I see some of the crap that
is out there for much more than $79.00, the upgrade is a steal and there
is no cost to upgrade the TimeOut enhancements if you go through the Beagle
Buddy program. C'mon, tell the truth.
Again, AppleWorks is not the cause of slow speed in the computer and
one does not have to accelerate the computer to the speed of light to be
functional. My plain-jane GS is fast enough for me and I do some pretty
heavy duty calculations on some of my 80k+ spreadsheets. There's more to
life than just increasing its speed, as someone once said.
Actually, I've found that the best function of the Zip Chip in my IIe
at work is speeding up the processing time for printing work with Publish
It! and other graphic based programs. Certainly not a requirement of AppleWorks
unless you use SuperFonts on a regular basis.
And, don't think for a moment that all the goodies and additions you
referenced in your side bar are just for Apple II software. Check out the
listing for Macintosh and IMB add-ons.
Nah, AppleWorks is far and away the best bargain in software yesterday,
today and tomorrow. It's going to be around for a long time and I can hardly
wait for AppleWorks 4.0.
One last point: When I bought my first computer back in early 1981, I
ended up with the "black" Apple --- the one with the Bell &
Howell logo. At the time a real computer salesman, not like the rip and
rape fast buck artists of today, told me something that is as true today
as it was then. When you buy the hardware, plan to spend just as much on
the software. That being true, AppleWorks with all the TimeOut enhancements
is still the best deal in town.
Alan R. Martin, Publisher
The Road Apple
Tips for hard drive users
from BMUG via Micro Times via Appleholics Anonymous)
Some disks are shipped pre-formatted, while others have never been run.
When you turn the hard disk on, it is cold. As the drive operates, it gets
hot and the disk, a metal plate, expands. Most hard disks have fans to keep
them cool, but they get hot anyway. The hard disk stores a lot of data in
a very small space, and the data will move with the heat expansion resulting
sometimes that the drive can't find the place where the data was located
when the disk was cooler. The same process can occur in reverse ... hot
data can't be found when the hard drive is cold.
This problem can arise and be critical when the drive is first formatted.
To avoid the problem, first run the disk several hours until it gets hot,
and then turn off the drive and let the disk cool off overnight. The next
morning, start the drive and format it. The only time that you might want
to format a drive when it is hot would be for a drive that is intended to
be left on all day, every day. This might be a business network server,
or a computer bulletin board hard disk.
All drives should be formatted in the position that it will normally
If your hard disk will be on its side, whether inside or outside, it
should be formatted in that position. Don't format a disk flat and use it
sideways. Gravity does affect drives in small ways, and some older ones
were not recommended for sideways use. This rule applies to floppy disks
Truths, rumors and other lies
With the outstanding success of Andy Nicholas' Shrink IT, The Road Apple
suggests a new one dedicated to compressing just those letters and memos
to those you dislike. It's called Shove It!
"Word" is that the chip producers (isn't that what the plains
buffalos use to do?) of Taiwan are awaiting FCC approval of their Macintosh
compatible chips. I'll bet the Cupertino Club is just going to "love"
the march of the Macintosh clones.
What's with the apparent tarnish on Applied Engineering's image? Got
a bunch of unsolicited negative comments from the developers and others
lately about the giant Apple II compatible hardware manufacturer. The gist
is that AE started out as a user friendly company and has grown too big
for its britches to the point that they seem not to give a damn about customer
support and have squeezed out competition. Kinda sounds like the history
of another company we know and love so well. Is the Vulcan a spite product
for Applied Ingenuity's internal GS hard drive or what?
Latest phone response from "tech support" (you choose the company).
"You're doing something wrong." Click!
Got a software product you've developed and are proud of and can't find
a market for? Contact Softdisk Publishing, 606 Common St., Shreveport, LA
71101 (318) 221-5143, FAX (318) 221-8870. If it's good enough, they'll buy
it, market it and make improvements. Jay Wilber is the editor.
If you can get a good price on disks, you might consider an investment
now. There is a move to put a substantial tariff on inexpensive foreign
disks. So much for competition and the capitalistic system.
Much has been said in the user group newsletters about reinking your
printer ribbons. Everything from a total reink to shooting WD-40 all over
has been suggested. Remember, that if you reink and plan to squeeze one
more paragraph out of that worn ribbon, you just might be in for a trip
to your dealer with your printer under your arm. When you screw up a printer
or a ruin a print head, you're in for some bank account shrinkage.
No, Virginia, I don't reink. I buy and use fresh ribbons once only for
my ImageWriter II from MEI/Micro Center, 1100 Steelwood Rd., Columbus, OH
43212 (800) 634-3478. 6 black ribbons are $14.52 or $ 2.42 each delivered
to my home. A small price for peace of mind and my printer thanks me.
Save the WD-40 for periodic print head cleaning.
Minnesota has two seasons: Shovel and Swat (from a native).
Finally, (at last) I've complained as much as anyone about the high cost
of enhancements and upgrades. It seems that every time you turn around,
you're nicked another $20.00 or so for yet another upgrade. I've come to
the painful realization that upgrades are just another cost of using a computer.
Though I don't like them, they are a fact of computing. Technology marches
on and you can either stay with the old program or cough up enough dough
to get the latest upgrade. The question is: Will you be happy with the old
stuff or will the new versions be more cost effective? The choice is up
If you are bitching about being "forced" to go from the 5.25"
disk format to the 3.5", a real advance in floppy technology, consider
the alternative that you could go back to the cassette tape for data input
and storage. Maybe it's time for a change.
Vol 2, #5
AppleFest '89 San Francisco at a glance
by Al Martin
Having been at all the San Francisco AppleFests, I found this one to
be different --- very different. It was a study in contradictions. Retail
vendors I visited with early Saturday morning were pleased with their Friday
level of sales --- others talked in hushed tones about the Mensch-Gassee
brouhaha. Laser Computer reps were hyped about increased public interest
and possible larger Apple II market share --- Call A.P.P.L.E. has closed
its mail-order operation and is wondering about the continuation of their
quarterly magazine. A manager of one of the two large multi-booth retail
outfits was concerned about cut-throat pricing and constant price checking
--- a few folks questioned the presence of non-computer business oriented
booths. "It's a great show!" --- "It's a wake for the Apple
Apple, Inc.'s own Jean-Louis Gassee did the Friday morning keynote bit
and thereby proved once again that he can undo the efforts of the entire
Apple, Inc. PR department in a few minutes. As one of the most abrasive,
arrogant and downright rude speakers I have ever heard, this Gallic guy
upholds the traditional warm friendship Americans have experienced in abundance
in Paris and other French towns. He is not only from Gaul, he's full of
During the Q&A session, Jim Mensch from Western Design asked why
the Apple II computers run so slow. J-L replied that Apple, Inc. can't get
faster chips. Western Design can and will produce faster chips, just order
them, was the reply. The exchange degenerated into a shouting match with
mikes being switched off and people escorted away.
Basically, the problem is that Apple, Inc. will not order chips to be
made; they must be in inventory. Western Design will not build chips on
speculation, but will build them to order. This is the old chicken/egg argument
with the Apple II computer owners losing and third party accelerator developers
winning. Evidently there's no love lost between Apple, Inc. and Western
Design. See also the ASIC story below.
Claris, the fumble minded subsidiary of Apple, Inc., decided that with
the release of AppleWorks 3.0 it was unnecessary for them to be at the show.
It's time that Apple, Inc. get out of the software business and let someone
who really cares about Apple II owners market the best software program
ever developed. How about letting Beagle Bros take over AppleWorks? After
all, they have kept it alive with their TimeOut enhancements and wrote a
major part of AppleWorks 3.0. At least, get Claris out of the picture.
Also noted by his absence was dear old John Sculley. Rumors of his whereabouts
abounded. During the shuttle ride in from the SF airport, one lady told
me he was speaking at the International Womens' Forum in San Francisco.
Another rumor placed him at some other high-tech SF conference. And still
another had him in Paris, France. When last year's keynoter doesn't even
put in an appearance at the conference to celebrate the products that built
Apple, Inc., that says a lot.
Add Woz to the list of the missing. Sadly, the spiritual leader of the
Apple II skipped both AppleFests this year.
Maybe we should put missing persons pictures on Apple II product packaging.
Happiness is seeing Gassee's picture among the missing.
Making the rounds during one of the conference receptions, I found that
Gassee would come in second in a one-man personality race. He is generally
disliked. Remember, this is the man, quoted by his own people at the Developers'
Conference, who said, "They (the consumers) have my money in their
pockets." (The Road Apple, Special Edition, 1989)
Speaking of missing, did you notice that Apple, Inc. does not even advertise
in inCider/A+ magazine? Yep, the largest Apple II publication doesn't even
rate Cupertino's attention. If Apple, Inc. lives up to its word to the developers,
this will have to change.
Thirdware, publishers of FingerPrint, put up four large signs around
the hall stating, "APPLE // FOREVER, sign here if you care." Someone
took exception to this expression of free speech and had all but the one
sign in Thirdware's booth taken down.
Hearing of this, The Road Apple publisher marched over to the Thirdware
booth and asked if they could spare one of the signs. They could and the
sign was displayed in the booth where Road Apple flyers were distributed.
Some of the comments are reprinted below. Though I haven't included the
names, many are familiar to those of us who use Apple II products and services.
Dear John (Sculley):
"John: Introduce 2 new words to your vocabulary USER SUPPORT! Remember
your promise at SF Fest '88 'A new Apple II within 12-18 months!'"
"Alex from BMUG sez: Keep it alive!"
"John - Talk to us & learn from us --- sky's the limit!"
"What's the definition of customer support? The chair you sit on
when you call Apple Computer."
"Q: How many Apple executives does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Ask your dealer."
"For Bill Basham who didn't come (to AppleFest) because he is p---ed
off at Apple!"
"John, Apple has time after time pledged its support of the Apple
2 but you have pulled out of AppleLink. You are not even giving a party
this year and suppress any GS development that would compare with Mac. What's
"Mac is too expensive, GS is too slow, IIe is too old, I'm getting
"I love my Apple IIe."
"I will go to IBM before I buy a Mac."
"Make more games for the IIGS."
"Keep the Apple IIGS alive --- for a great GS BBS call Gotham City,
(415) 886-3790, SYSOP Batman, 3/12/2400 baud."
"Call Sculley's hatred BBS, (213) 516-6017, 2400>9600 baud."
"Apple, please don't die!!!"
"The Woz wouldn't do this!! You fools."
"Keep it going into year 2000."
"Apple Harvest Users Group, Pot Liquor!! BBS, (714) 359-8003, Pepable
"We will NOT all go Mac when you drop the II line so think about
"Apple II is forever - made by Apple or not!"
"I went to Compac. It is apparent you are giving away your back
"I'm mad and I'm not going to take it anymore. The Apple II line
built Apple, in case you forgot. Don't you realize your are losing business
from future and present users and developers because you are abandoning
the Apple II and IIGS. I have owned an Apple IIc, and currently own a IIe
and IIGS but if you don't support me, I'm not going to support you. We want
a faster IIGS, a more powerful IIGS --- one that we can be proud of and
that you get serious about. Take some of your Apple II profits and put them
into Apple II development; don't divert Apple II profits to the Macintosh
and put the Apple II line on the back burner.
"The Gods are laughing at you. You have proven all the rumors to
be true - that Apple Corp. holds back development of the Apple IIGS to make
the Mac line look better or not to steal from Mac business...
"I have been living here at AppleFest for all three days - but my
patience is wearing thin. I'll buy a PC and sell my Apples if the Apple
tree dies or continues to wither."
"Down with IBMs, IIGS forever."
"Death to Macs."
"I've dropped Apple since they dropped the IIc. I want consistent
equipment in my labs."
"We are still helping the Macs to survive. They would have died
"I've got a IIGS and a Mac, I'm selling my Mac."
"Who needs an overpriced Mac when we got the IIGS?"
"IIGS before Mac."
The Developers meet with Apple, Inc.
by Al Martin and Dennis McClain-Furmaski
The big question, we believe, was what was going to be the result of
the meeting of the new independent Apple developers' group and Apple, Inc.?
Some were fearful of a replay of the Kansas City blood-bath. Happily, their
fears were unfounded. The developers had long since decided that their point
had been made, Apple, Inc. had heard it and now was the time for healing
The developers' Board of Directors met with high level Apple, Inc. types
on Saturday for a couple of hours. This was followed by a meeting of all
the developers and others Sunday morning.
The meeting, attended by about 100 people, opened with a brief synopsis
of the Developers-Apple, Inc. meeting on Saturday.
Basically, Apple, Inc. wants to start "clean" with the developers
and "forget the past," this from Nancy Stark who is now in charge
of Apple II marketing and begins her job on October 2nd. The developers
got what they wanted: to be taken seriously. There will be another meeting
between the two groups within 30 to 45 days. There were comments that large
corporations like GM, Coca-Cola and others have freely competitive and fully
supported product lines; the same could be true with Apple II and Macintosh.
The universal agreement was that the Apple II line will not be dropped.
There was a plea from the developers to restructure the costs of support
to be more in line with the size of the developer.
During the remainder of the meeting, questions flowed freely, most of
them having to do in some sense with the inequity of Apple's support to
both developers and end users. The general consensus being that Apple has
been actually pushing the Mac in favor of the Apple II line.
Witness: If you join the Apple Professional Developers Association, for
which you pay Apple hundreds of dollars per year, you MUST have a Mac to
logon to their electronic help line.
Witness: When you do join, you must specify which you develop for, the
Mac or the Apple II. If you register as an Apple II developer, most of the
material you get is on the Mac. Most answers to questions entail in some
way using a Mac. Any questions about the Mac get answered very quickly.
Many questions about Apple II development take many days to get answered.
It was at this point that Roger Wagner asked the audience that out of
all the Apple II developers there, if Apple discontinued the Apple II line,
who would switch to developing for the Mac.
Not one hand went up.
An unofficial vote was taken of this unofficial group to see if it were
made official, and dues collected, how many would like to see those dues
used to finance communication with Apple Computers to make the ideas and
desires of the developers known. As far as we could tell, the vote was unanimous
Barney Stone of Stone Edge Technologies volunteered to be the collector
of correspondence pertaining to the developers group, through his address
for his company and newspaper, Apple II At Work.
At the very end of the meeting, Mike Homer, who works with Bernie Gifford
of Apple's USA division, came and gave a frank and clear message.
His focus was that the upper management at Apple was as unhappy about
the way things had become as the developers were. They realize that the
Apple II will sell and sell well no matter what they do, and that they need
to support it. He said the Nancy Stark, formerly head of the Apple IIGS
development team had been appointed as the interface between the company
and the developers group. She reports to Mike Homer, he reports to Gifford,
and Gifford reports to John Sculley.
His words were straightforward, and if they're backed at the company
with the sincerity he put into them at the meeting, it may signal a turn
around with the attitude of Apple toward the Apple II line.
This, of course, remains to be seen.
Perhaps they've thought of this, perhaps not. But it would behoove them
to do their darndest to keep their 5 million Apple customers happy. After
all, if they could turn their backs on the Apple II line when something
else came along, they could do the same to the Mac.
Whether they've opened up to input by dint of angry users and developers,
or by sudden flashes of marketing insight while gazing at future stock prices,
it seems that Apple Computer Incorporated sat up and took notice.
As we recall, Gulliver didn't even wake up when the Lilliputians bound
him down tight. We commend Apple for having more awareness than he.
The net result is that Apple, Inc. wants to "start fresh" with
the developers' group; what's past is past and now let's begin again and
salvage the Apple II line which, by the way, currently brings in $1 billion
per year. Direct lines of communications which Apple, Inc. people who make
decisions and control budget were established.
We chatted with Barney Stone briefly after that meeting to get his evaluation
of the whole process. He stated that "It (the process) could not have
gone any better; I'm very pleased."
The big questions will be (1) just what the extent of Apple, Inc.'s renewed
involvement in the II will be, and (2) how long will it take for the residual
bad taste in the mouth to disappear from the abused and forgotten owners
of the II.
We believe that the show ended on a high note for all of us. Despite
it's strange beginnings, AppleFest '89 will be remembered as the place where
the great change in the direction of the Apple II took place.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
by Dennis McClain-Furmaski
I'm so excited! I get to start this column, just like a real editor.
Which I suppose I am, since I spend more time doing this than my "day"
job, which just happens to be the U.S. Army. So you can see I'm a busy boy.
I only have one letter so far, but as a good editor should, I intend
to answer it all. Here goes:
After receiving the first several "The Road Apple" issues,
I considered your writing radical and tasteless. Then I heeded your admonition
to would-be "freeloaders" and started paying for this verbal abuse.
Last week as I read the packet (Volume 2, No., 4 and the Special Edition),
I found myself agreeing with you! Please, is one of us slipping?
In all fairness, give MEI its due; my catalog arrived last week, and
the ImageWriter prices remain unchanged--only $1.67.
P.S. In a more serious vein - thanks for your Apple II support! There
are many of us out here who share your concerns and opinions!
It must be you; I'm still a tasteless radical.
But to reply to your serious vein, we are changing here at The Road Apple.
We're pro-Apple II and no longer anti-Mac; we're addressing those issues
that concern the 5 million of us who've chosen Apple IIs as the tool to
augment our minds.
To do our job better, it's input from you, the end user, that we need.
Our publication will go where ever the end user leads. (And, where the fortune
cookies at the Corporate Dinner dictate).
So please tell us what needs to be done. Are you getting the run around
on your warranty problems? Are your technical questions not being answered?
Can you recount a case of a salesperson telling you NEED a Mac to get any
serious computing done?
As we grow and mature, we're better equipped to research the problems
and find the root causes. As long as our readers challenge us with their
concerns and problems, we'll continue to improve.
Someday you'll have presented enough problems, we'll have gotten good
enough at publicizing them and, as a result, Apple will have gotten good
enough at resolving them, that The Road Apple will be able to close up shop.
This SHOULD be a self-defeating process.
But somehow, I suspect we'll be around a while.
So tell us, folks. Just what needs to be done?
Our apologies to MEI on the price. We stand corrected.
Apple, Inc. introduces the "portable" Macintosh
Two days before the opening of AppleFest '89 in San Francisco, Apple,
Inc. brought in people from all over the country to witness the rollout
of the "portable" Macintosh in Los Angeles and New York simultaneously.
Why "portable" and not portable or lap-top? Well, weighing in
at nearly 17 pounds with carrying case, this heavyweight is so fully featured
that it is more of a desktop computer that can be fairly easily moved from
desk to desk than it is portable. Actually, it's luggable. Maybe it should
be called the "Luggable Lisa" or some other cute name. Schlepping
17 pounds of computer hardware through airports, in and out of taxis or
while pounding miles city pavement would very well try the endurance of
Arnold Schwarzenegger, let alone the average executive. Maybe Apple, Inc.
should make a third-party deal with Samsonite and put little wheels and
a tow strap on the beastie or work out something with Suzuki to add wheels
and handlebars so you could ride it to work. Call it the MacCycle.
Laptop? Yes, if you're masochistic and don't mind the weight equivalent
of nearly two bags of supermarket potatoes bouncing on your thighs. Laptop?
No, if you're trying to do some work in the confines of airplane seating
space; don't even think about setting it on the pull-down tray on the back
of the seat in front of you. You'll end up with tray parts and computer
scattered about your feet.
At about $6.000 each, this monster Mac is big in price as well. I guess
it's a good deal if you are going to pay by the pound, though. In this era
of miniaturization, bragging about such a hefty unit is like being proud
of manufacturing the world's largest micro-chip. I suppose the next event
for muscular hackers is to see who can set a world's record in the number
of these back-breakers that can be bench pressed at one time.
And what about the can't-live-without world-famous MacMouse? Will there
be yards of tangle prone cord hooking this ubiquitous electronic bar of
soap to the CPU? Nah. Apple, Inc. has added the trackball "mouse,"
the bane of the sweaty palm and grimy fist set. I'll bet that "mousing
around" will be a thrill whilst bouncing along in some mechanical mode
of transportation. Sadly, the "Built-in keyboard with standard Macintosh
layout > 63 keys," does not
have a numeric keypad (The ghost of Apple IIe and IIc rides again!). However,
if you can live without the trackball, the keypad is an option. A Mac without
a mouse? Horrors. As everybody, simply everybody knows, you just cannot
do any computing worth doing without a mouse, dahling. A Mac without a mouse.
That's like ham without chocolate sauce.
In it's defense, the "Luggable" is full of features such as
a 6-hour+ battery, a transistor for each pixel, hard drives, 16 mHz speed,
a bunch of ports, etc. Oh, and yes, it will run Macintosh software as well
as reading, writing and formatting MS-DOS, OS/2 and, lastly (leastly?) Apple
II ProDOS. For $6,000 it should also give back rubs and make a decent martini.
Apple, Inc.'s late entry into the portable market with this unit is a
bit of a quandary what with MS-DOS ("messy-DOS") portables and
lap-tops selling for under $3,000 and weighing less than 10 pounds.
How about a true Apple portable?
Now that Apple, Inc. has jumped into the portable computer market with
the Macintosh, why not use the existing technology and make an Apple II
lap-top? With 5 million Apple II users out there, there must be a viable
market for such a product. I personally know a number of Apple II owners
who would love to buy such a computer.
First, the unit needs to be a basic computer without all the bells and
whistles found on desktop units. After all, you don't expect your Walkman
cassette player to have all the features of your home stereo unit, do you?
The Road Apple suggests a basic Apple IIc with 1 meg of RAM, a 3-inch
drive, AppleWorks 3.0 in ROM, decent flat screen, modem and printer ports
and power options as a beginning.
The reason for the IIc model is that it is basic. Users of portable computers
don't need all the GS bells and whistles since a traveling computer is used
mostly for calculation, word processing and data entry; leave the games
for the desktops. The built-in 3-inch drive would allow for Beagle Bros
enhancements and save to disk options.
If Apple, Inc. isn't listening, how about Laser Computers?
Speaking of Apples
by Dennis McClain-Furmaski
Imagine if you will, a small start-up computer company.
And amongst the driving forces of this company is a man
working to design and build computers affordable and usable
by first-time computer owners, dedicated to the principle of
building the best possible machine, what Brian Levy has
called the principle of "neatism," and with a disdain for
the hard-sell of the "gotta-have-the-newest-bestest"
technocrats who sell hype rather than hardware.
And, imagine also, a highly energetic young man with the
grasp of realistic marketing that makes him able to
understand what the customer wants and what the customer
needs, with the vision and perseverance to bring these
ideas to fruition and with the articulation to be able to
describe those ideas in no uncertain terms.
A familiar story to anyone who has heard the legend of
Apple Computers, Inc. Being well versed in that story
myself, I was only slightly awed to find the best of both
Steves wrapped with a sense of obvious excitement in Mike
Wagner of Laser Computers.
I caught Mike at the San Francisco AppleFest and asked for an interview.
I consider myself pretty quick, but from the time we sat down to talk, I
found myself struggling to keep up with his machine gun replies and sudden
insight. Having been hired as employee number 14 (previously
a Macintosh developer) he "grew up" with Laser and has a
full sense of where they are and where they're going.
Being an editor, I get to edit out all the umms, uhhs and
pauses, and make it look like I could keep up with this man.
Don't believe it for a second.
RA: Tell me about the company. How much are you selling?
MW: We've sold a quarter of a million since we started
shipping in 1986. We're currently shipping 10,000 a month.
RA: And with how many employees?
MW: Right now, 160.
RA: What gave you guys the idea to do an Apple II compatible
MW: We saw that the market was wide open. And we had the
legal expertise that we needed to be able to do it. We knew
we'd have lots of problems with Apple's legal staff.
RA: What are you guys doing different?
MW: Our product is designed for the lower end of the market.
We find channels that are able to take a home unit to
retail. We go to Wards and Sears and skip the Computerlands.
Also, we're set up to service the entry level market.
RA: What is Apple, Inc. doing wrong?
MW: They're arrogant and greedy. They're shooting for 75 to
100% professionals as their market. That's contrary to how
they started. The original idea was to "enrich our lives".
Now we've only produced what people can afford.
RA: I think I detect a little of the "Hacker Ethic" in
MW: (Grins) Yeah. You know Apple can make those excessive margins. They're
going up against IBM. And they use the same upgrade technique used by the
RA: Are you including any software with your machines?
MW: Copy II Plus. No full featured package though. If we
picked, one that would alienate the rest of the developers
right off the bat. What we do offer, is for any developer
that wants to, we'll include a one page ad up to 7 by 10 for
no charge in the box with the computer.
RA: Can you tell us about any new machine you're working on?
MW: No, not really. We've had some problems. But I can
assure you they're legal problems, not technical ones.
RA: How can you do what Apple does for so much less money?
MW: Because it costs us so much less to produce. Rather than
all the chips that Apple uses, we use some gate array chip
packages that reduce the number of parts. These gate arrays
are our own custom design.
RA: If Apple quits selling the II series, will you?
MW: No. We will manufacture them as long as they sell. And
the market for entry level computers will never go away.
RA: But isn't the 8 bit machine outdated?
MW: That is exactly the whole weird mindset of the
"latest-greatest-fastest" thing. The marketing people have
convinced everybody that they have to have the newest thing.
Most people can get by with entry level stuff. That's all
marketing. The II line should survive a lot longer. What
really gets me is why we have to put up with so many road
blocks when compatibles actually help the company. Look at
IBM and the Microchannel thing. We're fighting obstacles
that we shouldn't have to fight. After 1 1/2 years of
selling, the developers are starting to work with us.
Cambridge Marketing wouldn't let us into AppleFest until
this year. You know, 86% of all homes in this country don't
have a computer. Some estimates put that as high as 92%.
We'd like to change that.
RA: I've been researching the drop in some peoples' opinions
about Applied Engineering. For usually no definite reason,
the vast majority seems to have begun to dislike AE in favor
of Applied Ingenuity, even though both are good companies
with similar products and prices. From what I can see, it
seems to be an "underdog" mystique on AI's side. That image
hasn't happened to you guys, either by design or by
accident. Why hasn't the underdog image happened to Laser?
MW: Well, because Apple has still got that image. They're
the guys that started in the garage, and they're the guys
going up against IBM. And it's still working for them.
RA: What improvements would you like to see beyond what's in
development right now?
MW: New, improved hardware with greater speed and lower
price. And faster prototype turnaround time. Also, there's
lots of room for improvement in the operating system.
RA: Are you having fun?
MW: Oh, yeah. Entry level computing is lots of fun. I love
to watch peoples' eyes open wide when they see for the first
time what these things can do.
Our conversation continued well past the interview stage
and continued into personal observations and exploration
into the "golly-gee-whiz" stuff of the future. As far as we
ranged, I could still sense the foundations of his ideas set
firmly in the reality of making machines for people that
haven't had one yet.
For the interview, for reminding me of the magic that
happens when a person first meets a computer and for
working to make that magic happen affordable for more
people, thank you Mike Wagner and Laser Computers.
Faster chip announced
ASIC Enterprises Inc. announced recently that they have made a major
break through in the 16 bit processor market.
Seeking to fill the need in the Apple IIGS marketplace for
faster processing of its 16 bit architecture, ASIC
Enterprises has developed a new version of the popular
65C816. The new device will be called the AE165C816P-20 and
will run typically at 20 MHz.
According to William C. Hayes, President of ASIC
Enterprises, "We saw the need for a faster 16 bit
microprocessor to allow Apple third party developers to
better support accelerator products for the Apple IIGS."
Current accelerators could be greatly enhanced with a much faster 65C816.
Anthony M. Fadell, V.P. of ASIC emphasized, "The 65C816 microprocessor
was redesigned from the bottom up, with one thing in mind, to maximize its
The AE165C816P-20 has been in development in excess of
nine months and will be released for prototyping shortly.
Full production of this new processor is expected by the end
The grass ain't greener
Big Blue types like to gloat over the market share reports of IBM vs.
Apple. The newest do-hicky to boost IBM sales is something called the OS/2
Presentation Manager. However, as we well know, the rule of Vaporware haunts
the button-down collar crowd as well as the rest of us.
From the October, '89 issue of PC/Computing comes a satirical bit titled
"What to Do till the Application Comes, Ten ways to amuse yourself
and amaze your friends while waiting for OS/2 PM apps."
Buried in the ten activities are these two which may capture your interest:
"Play a game. Bricks, included as a demonstration program with OS/2
PM, shows off the uncanny ability of even a bare-bones OS/2 PM system to
closely imitate an Apple II Plus playing Breakout."
"Make plans to buy the PM versions of Excel and PageMaker when then
come out. They'll let you do a bunch of things with OS/2 that you could
have done on a Mac Plus four years ago."
by Al Martin
Last issue I wrote out what I believe to be the most useful macro to
have. It saves all the files on the desktop and clears the desktop. Mighty
handy. Unfortunately, I made an error which was pointed out to my UltraMacro
author Randy Brandt. But, there's good news, he has also written a macro
that does the same thing for AppleWorks 3.0.
Here are both macros correctly written:
For AppleWorks up to 2.0:
<sa-esc>: <all oa-q : rtn : oa-s
oa-q esc>4<rtn rtn :
x = peek $c55 :
if x >0 then rpt!
For AppleWorks 3.0
<sa-esc>: <all oa-q : rtn : oa-s
oa-q esc>4<rtn rtn :
x = peek# file count :
if x >0 then rpt!
by Dennis McClain-Furmaski
I've been following a controversy that many of you have seen, Applied
Engineering vs. Applied Ingenuity. What intrigued me most was the vehemence
that I've seen in people's responses. Whenever this happens, there are forces
at work not easily attributed to the hardware the companies sell.
On Apple*Echo, the FidoMail system on BBS'es devoted to Apple II subjects,
the consensus was that AE was unresponsive to problems and products too
high priced. They were perceived in rather strong terms as some sort of
bad guys. Since a good portion of the discourse centered around the AE Vulcan
and AI Inner Drive hard drives, I focused my attention to these products,
the ways they were presented and peoples' attitudes regarding these pieces,
in addition to watching for general tendencies toward the companies themselves.
My first research turned up the fact that some of the people complaining
about lack of support from AE had called the number found in the magazine
ads and had not received satisfactory assistance. Having received some fine
assistance from AE in the past (over some equipment bought used, no less),
I suspected that there was some miscommunication going on.
The phone number in the magazines is the sales office. Sales people may
in fact be versed in the products, but are not well equipped to deal with
technical questions. It seems though, that they tried to do exactly that.
Rather than pass the person along to tech support, they tried to handle
the customers' questions. This may, in part at least, have been brought
about by the fact that the tech support line and the sales line were different
numbers, neither of them 800 numbers, and the salespeople had no way to
easily transfer the call.
I cornered one of the tech support people from AE at their booth at AppleFest
and asked him about this. He replied that this problem had in fact been
noticed and recently the phone system had been altered to allow transfer
of the calls.
While I had him, I also pursued the attitudes people were developing
toward the company. He agreed with me that AI had pursued a marketing campaign
aimed at producing the "underdog" image for themselves. To their
credit, this is obviously a tack to take with Apple owners, who were used
to associating with the small guys starting in a garage, going up against
IBM and holding their own, and, of late, competing successfully against
their high powered cousin from Cupertino, the Mac. It's an ugly fact to
us true believers, but marketing sells and good marketing can sway more
than the cash flow.
So now we get down to comparing the hard drives. Not having both products
to try out, I can't really give you objective measurements for comparison.
Those measurements are available from AE and I suspect from AI also, for
their respective pieces. But for the speeds these things run at, it would
be like comparing gnat's wings.
I sold stereo equipment when an amplifier with 0.1% total harmonic distortion
was cheap, and 0.01% THD was good. A salesperson could easily lure people
into agreeing the difference was important enough to spend the extra money.
This was when Advents were all the rage in speakers and their cleanest output
was around 4% total harmonic distortion, forty times worse than the "cheap"
amplifier, making the difference in amplifier THD moot. I was not well liked
by the other salespeople.
System Disk 5.0 cold boots in around 15 seconds now. If the difference
in the drives makes it one or two seconds more for one of them, what's the
big deal? What are you gonna do in one or two seconds? Maybe get yourself
so wound up over the difference, due to faith in statistics spewed in marketing
hype, that your adrenaline your blood pressure a but. The people that one
or two seconds makes that much difference to should probably have the slower
one and spend the time taking a couple deep breaths. Marketing hype can
be hazardous to your health.
About the price difference, I wrote to my regular contact on the AE sales
team, Jeff Costello. I asked him in no uncertain terms just how they could
expect to charge $1795 for a 100 MB hard drive. I cited the comparable equipment
in "messy-DOS" machines and quoted prices at him.
He replied with a clear letter, which I reproduce here in part:
"It's true that IBM peripherals are generally less expensive than
their Apple counterparts. This is simply due to the economics of marketing
peripherals to a larger market. However, there is enough competition in
the Apple peripheral market that companies can't get away with charging
outrageous prices. Keep in mind that the prices you are comparing are retail
prices! The street price on the Vulcan is generally about 20% less. Also,
Vulcan comes with a controller card. Most hard disks do not include the
controller card, which costs around $100."
This actually occurred before the Vulcan was generally available. Now
that the retailers are advertising it, I've compiled a listing of comparative
costs. These are taken from the ads in the September 1989 issue of A+/inCider.
The prices are averaged from all ads they appear in, whether either or both
Drive-MB Avg. $ $ per MB
AI 20 459.25 22.96
AI 40 629.50 15.74
AE 20 502.22 25.11
AE 40 650.60 16.26
AE 100 1382.00 13.82
Sider 20 504.00 25.20
The widest difference in choice is between the 20 MB Inner Drive and
the 20 MB Vulcan, a difference of 9% of the average price.
For me, I need the multiple operating system capability that the Vulcan
has; I have DOS 3.3, ProDOS 8, ProDOS 16, Pascal and MS-DOS to store. I
don't think the difference is outrageous either, considering the feature
The only other drive that does this is the Sider from First Class, which
is why I threw it in.
Without that need, the Inner Drive is a bit better deal.
Considering the margins between the retailers on the AI drives is smaller,
and less than half the number carry it compared to the ones that sell AE,
I suspect the profit margin is much closer, too. But it's been around longer,
and market prices have had time to settle. The AE prices will probably drop
a bit more and come into closer tune with each other. And, I bet more retailers
will carry the AE stuff still.
I know which I need due to operating system constraints, but even if
I didn't, I find no objective reason for the chest beating and bad mouthing
going on. Both companies produce fine products at decent prices, once they
hit the street.
There was an article in another magazine telling how you could build
a hard drive from parts for about $700 including the SCSI card for the Apple.
Since both AI and AE sell their internal drives with controllers, I can't
see why anyone would want to take up the desk space, pay more money and
have no warranty or support, when these products are available.
If anyone, the manufacturers included, would care to shed some solid,
objective information, I'd be glad to continue this. We need more real evidence
on products to make better decisions for ourselves, not proof that some
advertising company has succeeded in producing an emotional response.
by Dennis McClain-Furmanski
I recently had a very good experience with a cable dealer that I'd like
to pass on. They happen to be in my area, but they ship nationwide.
The company is Norfolk Wire.
I was trying to run a IIc I had borrowed with my external modem, and
needed a cable. And I needed it FAST.
These folks make them, but didn't have one in stock. The salesperson knew
they usually stocked them and said they had it. When I showed up and they
didn't, they apologized, and proceeded to make one on the spot. Fifteen
minutes later, I had my cable. And not just your ordinary cheap, works-but-that's-about-it
cable. This was a heavy duty Belden Wire cable with heat sealed, reinforced
connector hoods. I was very pleased with the service, and even more pleased
with the quality of the cable.
I got a few prices here, in case you need a cable built very well, and
you need it quick.
IIc to DB 25 Modem, 6 ft. $17.00
IIc to ImageWriter, 6 ft. $15.00
Super Serial to ImageWriter, 10 ft. $16.50
Super Serial to ImageWriter, 6 ft. $15.00
Other cables are available and any can be made on a custom basis. Charge
for custom cables is stated as $25.00, but may be less if it's an easy one.
If you have the pin-out for what you need, that helps. They subscribe to
tech info, but that costs.
So, give them a try. They'll ship C.O.D. and Blue Label on request, for
whatever the U.P.S. charge is, no extra handling. You can call them at (800)
Vol 2, #6
Just for you
Season's Greetings from Al and Dennis to our Road Apple readers. Our
wish is that this holiday season finds you and your family in good health
and prosperous. And, perhaps Santa will leave you that bit of Apple II software
or hardware you have been dreaming about all year.
What the next decade will bring for Apple II users is impossible to predict.
But, one thing is certain: If your support of the II line continues, we
will be wondering what the 21st century has in store for us 10 years from
now. Semper Apple II.
Neat stuff: Cruising the booths at AppleFest
by Dennis McClain-Furnmaski
If you're used to dealing with your machine for six to eight hours a
day, like I am, an AppleFest is not an entirely disconcerting occasion.
But unless you also deal with up to 10,000 people a day, it's how shall
we say, a different kind of experience.
Since on this trip, I spent much of the time at the publishers' booth
and the press room, I didn't get to see a great deal of the manufacturers
and vendors. But I did get to touch base with a few that I found particularly
Now, interesting to me consists of the unusual. It may be the advanced
technology, but more often is just an attractive, unique idea.
By that criteria, I present to you my favorite stuff from the 'Fest.
First is McGee. McGee is cool. No doubt about it. He's a normal, inquisitive
toddler exploring the house while his mom is asleep. Your child (!?) can
play with McGee by moving the mouse to the icons of where they want to go
or what they want to do next. And McGee just putters right along, getting
safely into mischief while your child is busy with the computer. This is
basically a graphics adventure with no words. The choices of action are
presented at the bottom of the screen as picture. Point and click at the
icon of McGee's mom asleep, and in the big picture, he trundles up to her
and says "Mommy?". She opens one eye and says "Good morning,
McGee" and goes back to sleep, leaving him free to ramble around the
house and find fun stuff to do.
So it isn't filled with the whiz-bangs and high tech gizmoes. It's just
a good solid program aimed at a certain market and it fits that market admirably.
It's this kind of thing that can keep a child occupied to the same degree
as the television, but with the interaction that keeps them from becoming
a couch potato. And it's FUN! This is one of the things that computers were
McGee is from Lawerance Products and retails for $39.95 list. For ages
2 to 5, and anyone else lucky enough to be able to think that young.
At the other end of the life scale, I had the most amazing mental images
from visiting the SeniorNet booth. Being a telejunkie myself, who can sit
in on four hour sessions at the modem, and still look for other systems
to call, I understand how involved one can get in the online chatter. I
had this image of grandparents and greatgrandparents sitting in rocking
chairs, intensely hacking away into the wee hours. And as silly as that
may sound at first, I highly suspect that I'm right.
One of the early dreams about the social benefits of computers was that
they would enable a mind to reach out to others regardless of the state
of the body housing that mind. Another function of telecommunications is
that it acts as an equalizer, filtering out any preconceived notions you
may have about the person you're interacting with, because it presents ONLY
As the baby boom bulge in the country's population age moves forward,
and age becomes less of a stigma and more a social standing, the temporally
advantaged will become sought after. There's no doubt that SeniorNet's slogan,
"Bringing Wisdom to the Information Age" will become a widely
known reality. I suspect that the people who run SeniorNet are aware of
this, but I'm willing to wager that they'll find they underestimated to
SeniorNet is for those 55 and older (DARN!) and can be contacted at USF
SeniorNet, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080. Delphi,
the carrier for the network, has a $15.00 registration fee, and connect
charges from $6.90 to $16.70. Billing for this is done through registration
The network itself has a $25 annual membership, and gets discounts on
some hardware and software purchases, and a newsletter, besides the access.
Yes, the charges may seem a little high for retired folks. The system
also has what is called their "Silver" and "Gold" memberships,
at $50 and $100 respectively, the money from those going to support scholarships
for members who can't afford the full rates themselves. These memberships
are tax deductible. SeniorNet is a non-profit organization and depends on
contributions for support.
I'd like to put out the call to every developer, manufacturer and vendor
to support SeniorNet by taking out one or more of the Silver or Gold memberships.
Apple Computers, Inc. already has, and I salute them for that.
After all, you're probably at least halfway to qualifying, aren't you? I
only have 20 years to go myself.
I can't wait.
And that's the news from AppleFest, where all the hardware is strong,
the software is good looking and all the users are above average. (My apologies
to Garrison Keillor)
The Road Apple now a Beagle Buddy
As a service to the subscribers of The Road Apple, we are now able to
offer the Beagle Buddy upgrade or original TimeOut disks. The Road Apple
has a complete set of the latest TimeOut applications and is prepared to
upgrade your original TimeOut disks at no charge except for return postage.
The list includes:
As you may know, not all of the TimeOut applications need to be upgraded
for AppleWorks 3.0, just those versions that don't work with AppleWorks
3.0 like UltraMacros 2.0. So, check your disks and send in what you need
to be upgraded. QuickSpell is not needed with AppleWorks 3.0 since it already
has a spell checker built in.
Remember, you must send the original TimeOut disk, either 5.25"
or 3.5"; copies will not be accepted. Also, please include the cost
or stamps for return postage. There is no charge for the service.
The Beagle Buddy system was instituted to ease the burden of the cost
of upgrades for consumers. Usually this is done through user groups, but
many people do not have access to user groups and this is where The Road
Apple can be of assistance. In fact, you don't even have to be a Road Apple
subscriber; just a purchaser of original TimeOut application disks.
The Road Apple will keep you informed of new upgrades as they are released.
The promise, the reality
As reported in the AppleFest issue of The Road Apple, Apple, Inc. has
had company representatives meet with the new Apple II Developers' group
spawned in Kansas City and born in San Francisco. As a result, there was
much nodding of heads, heart-felt agreements, apologies and promises of
better days to come. It appeared that Apple, Inc. was going to get behind
and support the Apple II line (1 billion dollars a year revenue) wholeheartedly.
Wha hoppen? The Christmas buying season is in full swing and where are
is the support for the Apple II?
Just yesterday (Nov. 24), I got a mailing from Apple, Inc., signed by
Allan Loren, President, Apple USA, that started, "Dear Customer,".
The jist of the letter was that since I already owned an Apple computer,
I could make a "...smart move again, by stepping up to even more Apple
capabilities." The whole pitch is to encourage me to participate in
the "Apple Free Trial Run" and take home a GS or Macintosh. When
(or if) you purchase one of these machines, there can be deferred billing
or buy now and get a rebate. The special deal only applies to these machines;
no IIe or IIc computer buyers need apply. By the way, don't call Apple dealers
"dealers"; the proper term from Apple, Inc. is "reseller."
So much for Apple, Inc.'s support of the II line for this Christmas.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Grinch.
Meanwhile, Commodore, manufacturer of the Amiga, has launched a $15 million
advertising blitz with several full-color full-page ads in some of the leading
You GS owners might take note that in the advertising brochure accompanying
the letter, the picture of the one GS and the three Macintosh computers
shows a primary math problem on the screen of the GS and complicated spreadsheet
functions on the screens of the three Macintoshes. Part of the ad reads,
"Then your children can learn that learning is fun. With the Apple
IIGS, you can choose from the world's largest library of software for home
education." The ad doesn't tell us where the "world's largest
library of software" came from, does it?
To add insult to injury, comes this gem: "It's no wonder more schools
use Apple computers than all other brands combined." My question is:
Just what model of Apple computers so populate the schools?
The whole psychology of this campaign appears to be to consign the Apple
IIe and IIc to the never-never land of the un-computer like Orwell's un-person
The coup de grace is the section that leads with "Then you can simplify
the business side of your family. ...Apple Macintosh computers, of course,
are masters at number crunching. But, more important, they excel at helping
you make sense of data." I guess the copywriters haven't heard of AppleWorks
3.0 with TimeOut's ReportWriter or even Barney Stone's dbMaster.
If this is an example of Apple, Inc.'s AppleFest promise to the developers
for more and better support, excuse moi whilst I go fro up.
Other uses for the Luggable Lisa
or what to do when your arms and back give out
The "portable" Macintosh, a.k.a. the Luggable Lisa, introduced
elsewhere at the opening day of AppleFest, is a 17-pound behemoth that has
got to be as much fun to use in the coach seat of an airplane as shoving
a pill down the throat of full grown gorilla. As a service to our readers,
the entire staff of The Road Apple research department has been looking
into other uses for the Massive Mac while waiting for the sense of feeling
to return to your arms.
Construction: Use it to hold down a stack of bricks to keep them from
flying away in a tornado.
Music: Use it as a counter balance while hoisting a piano to a 5th floor
Transportation: Use it as ballast for an empty freighter.
Transportation II: Use it to add weight over the rear tires for better
traction in winter.
Farming: Use it to hold open (or closed) the barn door.
Art: Use to stack on top of books to press dry flowers.
Fashion: Place slacks on flat surface, place board on slacks, place Mighty
Mac on board --- no wrinkles.
Defense: Use as deadfall in booby trap for enemy. (Tip: A video tape
of Scully and Gasse is a good psychological weapon; drive the enemy crazy
with Knowledge Navigator Nonsense.)
Holidays: Place on chair (extra sturdy) to hike the little tot up to
the table. Besides, the phone book does have a practical use.
Holidays II: Lean against crooked Christmas tree to keep it straight.
Olympics: Replace the hammer throw with the Mac throw.
So you see that your $6,000 investment is not limited to wrestling a
mass of portable computer. With some creative thought, you can have fun,
From Russia with love
For those of you who have read about the Russians visiting the A2-Central
Apple Developers' Conference, here are some corrections to the information
I was given. This comes in a letter from Vladimir Fedorov received earlier
this week (Nov. 20).
Try this address:
R & D Centre 'Lindar'
V. Ulbricht St., 4
PO Box 512
125057, Moscow, USSR
Tel. 157 26 64
Fax 157 40 14
Telex 411700 PTB LINDAR
The fax machine is ready to receive from 3:00 PM to 5:00 AM, GMT. This
translates to 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM, PST. I've tried in vain to send a fax
for three days; the lines are all tied up according to the phone company.
If you have AT&T long distance, the access code is 011-7-095. If
you have MCI, the prefix in front of the access code is 10288. Good luck.
The reason for his letter was to invite me to an Apple (Pravetz) Users
Conference in Chimgan, a holiday resort in Uzbekistan near Tashkent in January.
Yes, I am making plans to attend if I can get enough information in time
to get the necessary visa and round trip airline ticket. It's a bit of a
I've never been to the USSR, so I'm pretty excited about the prospect.
A land of local customs, different languages and strange foods. Sounds like
New York and I have been there.
What's in a number?
The '89 San Francisco AppleFest drew 19,000 people according to a report
from Cambridge Marketing, the company that puts it all together.
Compare that to 110,000, the number of people who attended the COMDEX
convention in Las Vegas in mid-November according to the November 16th issue
of USA Today. That gives you a bit of the measurement of scale between the
Apple world and the Messy-DOS world. And, this in light of the fact that
Apple, Inc. had fully-functioning computers sold even before Big Blue even
considered a personal computer. What happened?
Simple. Big Blue and its clones gave the consumers what they wanted:
Low priced computers that did the job.
Even after all the bills have been paid on the development of the Apple
II and enormous profits have been rung up, Apple, Inc. still maintains one
of the highest priced computer lines anywhere. Simple economics tell the
story and simple greed is the point.
Andy Nichols, author of ShrinkIt, recently went through a period of dissension
with others concerning his software. As it turns out, he had made a verbal
agreement with Kent Dickey, who wrote the original algorithm that Andy developed
into ShrinkIt, that neither of them would ever use it as a commercial program.
Although a common way of business is to carry on with what would have
made money, Andy opted to honor the previous agreement, rather than release
ShrinkIt GS as a commercial program. This has doubtless caused him and L&L
Enterprises, who was to publish ShrinkIt GS, severe hardship.
When news of these happenings reached the Apple echo, many people expressed
their support for Andy and his efforts. We NEED people like Andy, and programs
like his, to keep the Apple as the best machine for USERS.
Below is a sample message off the echo.
Date: 09-Nov-89 18:15
From: Adam Plotkin
To: Dennis Mcclain-furmanski
Subj: Re: SHRINKIT-GS
DM> I'm glad you mentioned the folks sending checks to Andy Nichols.
DM> too would like to see how many of the people here who get it would
DM> Andy something for it.
DM> How about it Echo Dwellers? Think we can show a top notch Apple
DM> programmer we appreciate his work? Anything would be nice. What you
DM> think it's worth would be best. And I bet he'd appreciate a nice
DM> too. With the BS he's just gone through he deserves some encouragement
Why not list names and addresses with a note and send it to him? If
you wan't I can coordinate, you send me name and address netmail
1:269/101 or here, and I'll put on list. Someone write a letter.
--- ConfMail V4.00
* Origin: SportsBoard NJ | 201-403-9757 | HST/V32 | (1:269/101)
Anyone who wishes to send Andy Nichols payment for ShrinkIt GS and/or a
letter of support, here's his address:
Paper Bag Productions
c/o Andy Nichols
Box 435, Moranian College
Bethlehem, PA 18018
And to give you an idea of what's in store for those who use this program,
here's an excerpt from a press release from L&L Enterprises:
* Completely rewritten and optimized 16-bit assembler routines are used
compressing and decompressing files. Both the LZW and Huffman code has
rewritten from SCRATCH. For this reason, decompressing and compressing
and disks is much faster. 100% speed improvement in extracting files from
archives that use the Huffman(SQ) data compression method. SQueezed files
that would usually take 20 seconds to unpack will now take only 10! 25-40%
speed improvement over the Apple IIe version of ShrinkIt, which is twice
as fast as StuffIt for the Macintosh. Adding a TransWarp GS to ShrinkIt
should give performance which exceeds that of a Macintosh IIcx or SE/30.
* Uses the Apple Desktop interface to provide the easiest archive solution
for both novice and advanced users.
* ShrinkIt can archive, compress, and extract files with resource forks.
* ShrinkIt can transparently open and extract from 9 different types of
common Apple II archives:
- NuFX Archives used by ShrinkIt for the Apple IIe. //c and ][+
- Binary II files used by most major terminal programs and Floyd Zink's
Binary Library Utility (BLU)
- AppleLink Compression Utility (ACU) files
- SQ files (SQueezed files)
- AppleSingle files
- NuFX Archives within Binary II files
- Binary II files within Binary II files
- ACU archives within Binary II files
- AppleSingle files within Binary II files
* Different "filters" are provided so that only files used by
available for selection, this allows the user to quickly and easily pick
files for shrinking, unshrinking, etc.
* ShrinkIt has an alternate method for creation, extraction and transfer
files that contain resource forks. This method is endorsed by Apple Computer,
Inc. and is called "AppleSingle Format"
* ShrinkIt can delete records from archives which contain multiple records.
* ShrinkIt can alphabetically sort archives which have multiple records.
* ShrinkIt allows the user to add and edit comments about an archive in
both AppleSingle and NuFX archives.
* ShrinkIt makes intelligent use of all available memory to speed
compressing and decompressing of files. In simpler terms, the more memory
your Apple IIgs has, the faster ShrinkIt will compress/uncompress your archive.
Taken from Apple*Echo, a press release from L&L Enterprises
Date: 26-Nov-89 22:35
From: Kent Hayden
Subj: APPLEWORKS BUG FIX DISK
The new AppleWorks Bug Fix disk will be available from your local Beagle
Buddy shortly after the first of December! This disk will fix at least
known bugs in AppleWorks 3.0! It will be distributed to all who express
interest in acquiring the fixes, and the price is going to be and incredible
The bugs which will be fixed include the following:
1. Fixes the ADB Print bug
2. fixes the ADB OA-Right Arrow bug
3. Fixes the ADB text import bug
4. Fixes the AWP New Ctrl-commands bug (with page breaks displayed)
5. Fixes the ASP delete > 255 rows bug
6. Fixes the Remove Default Printer bug
* Origin: Total Access Board 138/103 Tacoma, Wa (206)472-9884 (1:138/103)
Date: 16-Nov-89 07:28
From: Hank Wessel
To: Randy Bailey
Subj: PATCH FOR APPLEWORKS 3.0 NEEDED
>>> Is there a patch available for AppleWorks 3.0 that eliminates
date entry requirement on boot up? This is needed so that the
application disk can be write protected to keep students from
saving data files to the program disk.
There has been discussion of this problem in the A2-Round Table on
GEnie. Just eliminating the date entry requirement will not work
since AW also writes a quit code to the disk and checks to be sure
that the program disk is NOT write protected.
However, Jerry Kindall (A2.JERRY) provided a patch which allows
AppleWorks to run from a write-protected disk. It's for AW 3.0 ONLY
and should be made ONLY to a backup copy of you AW disk.
1) Make a back-up copy of your AppleWorks disk.
2) Run and quit AppleWorks from your back-up copy so that a valid
quit code will be installed on the disk.
3) Enter BASIC
4) Place your back-up copy of AppleWorks in the drive
5) From the ] prompt, type:
FOR I = 768 TO 783: POKE I,234:NEXT
The AppleWorks program disk you have patched can now be
Jerry makes no promises that this will work perfectly, although in
his test it worked just fine. I have also tried it and have
encountered no problems.
Date: 23-Nov-89 02:32
From: Chuck Bemis[*ggmp*]
Subj: Byrd's Update
To: Blake Andrews (1:283/630) From: Chuck Bemis
To answer you question on xfering BBB to a higher prodos version, here is
reprint of the answer I got off this Net for the same question:
236/255: Re: BIRDS BETTER BYE
Name: Network Manager #5
Date: 9:17 pm Mon Oct 09, 1989
From: Matthew Stier, To: Chuck Bemis[*ggmp*]
Yes you can extract BBB from version 1.4 and put it into a higher version.
Do the following:
Now when you want to update another version of ProDOS do the following:
BLOAD PRODOS,TSYS,A$2000 (higher version of ProDOS (remember length))
BLOAD BBB, A$xxxx (xxxx is the hexidecimal address below)
BSAVE PRODOS,TSYS,A$2000,Lyyyy (yyyy is the length of the origianl ProDOS)
--- TBBS v2.1/NM
* Origin: Micro Message Service NCRTP (919)779-6674 TBBS 2.1M (1:151/102)
I hope this helps... This Net always helps me... Thanks All
Date: 24-Nov-89 20:01
From: Rick Diffley
Subj: New Copy Ii Plus
Next Reply is Message #5640
****** COPY II PLUS VERSION 9 ******
==> BRAND NEW FACE:
It's easier to run ProDos applications. Using Copy II Plus's new
applications "run" list, you can select ProDos applications from
a serparate menu and run them. Upon finishing, you atuomatically
exit right back into Copy II Plus-just as if you'd rebooted. The
application run list can even further customized to include appli-
cations you've written for your individual needs.
EXACT COPIES OF YOUR FILES AND DISK:
A new Copy II Plus utility lets you compare any two files byte for
byte. Differences between the two files and the total number of mis-
matched bytes are reported on the screen. The use of all available
memory will also increase the speed of bitcopy. Where Copy II Plus
used to read one track at a time and then copy it to a disk, it will
now read as many tracks as it can before to the target disk.
Version 8 enabled you to alphabetize your catalog. Now "sort catalog"
lets you sor your catalog any way you want it. This could come in handy
for anyone who would rather have their catalog arranged by date, length
of file, by file type, or any other way that makes sense to them.
HOW TO ORDER:
Phone (800) 888-8199...24hrs.
Mail $18.00 for 3.5 disk (includes shipping) or 5.25 floppy.
$23.00 for both 3.5 and 5.25 disk (including shipping).
To...Central Point Software Inc./15220 NW Greenbrier Pkwy
#200/ Beaverton, Or/ 97006-9937
S P E A K I N G O F A P P L E S
Books like Steve Levy's "Hackers" tell of the programmers who
make it to superstar status through the careful marketing of the companies
they write for.
Often times compaines who create hit products do so with teams of programmers,
and we never know who they are.
But the stories that seem to strike closest to the heart of all Apple
users are the ones of the singular programmer who starts small, and ends
up succesful because of his hard work and excellent product, perhaps because
it parallels the story of Apple itself.
To counter the high cost, and the necessity of dealing with large companies,
many programmers turned to releasing their products as shareware; You try,
you like, you buy. Very few got to be well known this way, and fewer still
saw any appreciable amount of money from it.
One of the exceptions to this is Don Elton, head of Carolina System Software,
and author of Talk Is Cheap (TIC), a powerful and inexpensive terminal program
I had been suggesting this program to people as shareware over Fidonet's
Apple echo, when I received a note from Don that the program was no longer
shareware, but commercial. I contacted him to see why he'd changed his strategy,
and to find out his views on shareware vs. commercial distribution in general.
The following is the conversation we had.
RA: What are some of the programs you've written?
DE: Besides TIC, I wrote the Extended Command Processors, and Squeeze and
(Note: These are the space saving algorithms for packing programs used in
Binary Library Utility - BLU)
RA: How long did it take you to write these?
DE: A week, and a tremendous number of hours. Actually, it's a continuous
RA: From you notes on the version of TIC that I've seen, especially from
your offer to pay a commision to the person whose registered copy elicited
more sales, you seem to be quite responsive to the users.
DE: Well, I started writing it in response to my own needs. I started TIC
because I was an ASCII Express (tm-United Software Industries) user, and
it was written in response to the shortcomings I saw in it.
RA: When did you first release it for sale?
DE: In 1986.
RA: And how many have you sold?
DE: For shareware, it's done as well as any. I got 1500 registered users
in that time. Less that a dozen shareware programs have done that well.
Diversi-DOS is the only one for Apple that's done as well. And you can figure
that 99% of shareware used goes unpaid for. In the year since I've gone
commercial with it, I've sold another 1500 copies. And you can figure that
1/4 of the commercial versions in use have been paid for.
RA: Why did you go commercial with it?
DE: So I could reach a larger market. Shareware is almost entirely distributed
by electronic media (Note: refering to BBS downloading). That means the
1500 registered users were virtually all switch overs from another program.
I wanted to reach the users before they owned their modems.
RA: Is shareware a flop?
DE: The vast majority of programmers would be foolish to expect to make
money from shareware. I was lucky. I don't know that I would recommend it
to the hobbyist programmer, unless their wish was to have it tested, to
get exposure or to get press. For those who intend to make money at programming,
it's not a good idea. Since I've gone commercial, I've sold copies to NASA,
to schools, to telecommunications projects under grants.... I offer a discount
for mulitple copies. For 10 or more copies I give a 50% discount. That's
RA: Any other comments you'd like to add?
DE: I'm working on a GS version, but I've spent a lot more time on the
8 bit version than the 16 bit version. It's a few months from the testing
stage yet. I've gotten permission to include ShrinkIt within the program,
and probably will in the next version. The docs will include an explaination
of the various ins and outs of packing programs. And a Mac version is possible.
RA: Are you having fun?
DE: Yeah, within reason. It's nice to have a hobby pay you. But it took
3 to 4 years before I saw any of that. You've got to consider the time.
One of the other comments he made to me was "There are more computers
sold than software". This has the obvious implication that a lot of
software isn't purchased.
Having been around for 8 years in the Apple community, I've heard, and
even used all the excuses for copying software. But all the reasons having
to do with too high cost seem to assume that it's a viscious cylce. High
cost, can't afford, copy it, they sell less and charge more the next time,
and we copy again. But this is NOT a cyclic phenomenon. The programs start
somewhere. That's the beginning. And it's people starting out and building
up that make the success of the Apple world.
We need quality programs from quality programmers, and we need them to
grow into quality Apple family companies, if we want the Apple to remain
a viable choice among the computers available today.
Support the people that make your Apple worth owning. Pay for the software
you use. The future quality of software depends on how you treat the programmers
of the present.
For the look into the software business, for all your hard work for our
benefit, and for the interview, thank you Don Elton.
Carolina System Software Talk Is Cheap - $40.00 single copy
3207 Berkely Forrest Dr. $20.00 each 10 or more
Columbia, SC 29209-4111
OFF THE WIRE
One of the first things any new modem owner does is go hunting for places
to hook into. These can be anything from homegrown bulliten board systems
to the large commercial networks.
One way the users can enjoy the immense connectivity of large networks
without the cost, is to find a local system on the Fidonet message passing
This is basically a network of privately owned BBSs, structured in to
a spoked wheel design, that collect the messages written on various systems,
compile them into one large message base, and redistribute them.
Fidonet 'Echoes' as they're called, range among 180 some different subjects.
Of course each of the systems don't display al of the available message
areas, but most carry the more popular ones. And a kindly sysop would probably
turn one on if you asked nice, and he had the room.
This all leads to, what else, the Apple Echo.
This is one of the more active echoes, taking me between 30 and 60 minutes
a day to read.
What I like about this system as opposed to more commercial systems,
is that all the users are treated equally. There's no 'celebrity favoritism'.
Several familiar names pop up from time to time, offering help on particular
subject, or just talking about things in general.
I happen to think this is one of the best things going for anyone interested
in the Apple world around them.
I wish I could tell you all exaclty which systems in your area are carrying
the echo. Unfortuantely, just the list of systems belonging to the Fidonet
is 400K long. And to my knowledge, an indexed listing according to whom
carries what doesn't exist.
The first way to try to find it, is to look on BBS listings on local
systems, and see if some are annotated as carrying Fido. Any one of them
can carry the Apple echo if they choose to, or at least would be able to
tell you a system that does if they can't or won't.
Another thing you might try is calling Blue Moon BBS, (614) 868-9982
or 9984. It's run by Grant Delorean, the moderator of the Apple echo, and
if anyone can find or produce such a list, he can.
Lastly, I'll compile the list of all Fidonet systems, and if you send
me the mailing label from your Road Apple, I'll send you a list of those
in your area. (The above restriction is so I don't get bombarded with requests
for listings for umpty-seven different areas in each request. I'm helpful,
One other thing available on the net is file requests (called freq'ing)
for things from other systems. The sysop handles this following your specific
request of the file and the name of the system.
All in all, it's a great way to meet the people who use Apples. And rarley
will you find a system that requires any payment to join.
Catch the wire! We're looking forward to talking to you.
And we thought WE had problems.....
A friend of mine who programs professionally got a job doing some database
work for a guy with Macs in his office.
To make sure they had the most current thing going, my friend got a new
Mac II ci. He had a few problems at first, and then he had a whole slew
of them. It turns out the System 6.02 it uses simply has fits with some
different programs. Such as:
Microsoft Works - Won't run.
Broderbund copy protected disks - Won't run.
Accolade protected disks - Won't run.
MacinTalk - Won't run, or keeps crashing.
Some CDEVs such as MacFish - Won't run.
Manx Aztec C, his tool of the trade - Won't run.
A few other problems; since you can't slow down the speed, some games are
useless. But, hey, this isn't a game machine, now is it; StuffIt, the BLU
of the Mac world, can't seem to work consistently; the compiling speed on
this machine was virtually identical to the SE-30 had traded in for this.
Then why not keep it? After compiling, the object files wouldn't run.
After all the noise about maintaining compatibility within the Mac line,
Apple seems to have messed up not only themselves, but a group of users.
High paying users, nonetheless.
It was mentioned that at the developers' meeting at the West Coast AppleFest,
not a person in sight among all the developers would switch from the ][
line to Macintosh. Here's a statement by Tom VanDerPool, who wasn't in attendance,
but mirrored the message in a posting on the Apple Echo on Fidonet:
"If ever I do "get out of the Apple business", as in owning
them, I will certainly NOT go with another of the Apple brand computers.
If they can desert me once, why not twice (or more if you let them)?"
Seems the trend is starting already. First we were stratified as Apples
and serious computers, now even the serious computers are being forced into
a class structure.
Q: HOW MUCH IS AN APPLE WORTH?
A: A MACINTOSH
While I was pursuing the details behind Apple's decision to drop sales
through the military exchange systems, I ran across an interesting rumor.
I was talking with the manager of the computer section at the Ft. Eustis,
Virginia AAFES (Army & Air Force Echange System) and she related a story
to me which she got from a teacher in nearby Newport News, Virginia.
It seems that the school system in Newport News had been courted by someone
wanting to sell them Macintoshes for the schools. The deal they had been
offered was a veru good bargain. All they had to do was.... give back their
Apple ][s. No money involved, just a straight across trade, piece for piece
Had I not been already working on a story, I think I'd have let that
rumor lie; it was just too ridiculous. But I was in the frame of mind to
be contacting sources and following leads, so I threw this one into the
I contacted the teacher, who asked specifically that I not mention their
name, and they told me the same story. Apple wants their ][s and will give
Now, I've never had a problem with Apple's idea that the ][ was ideal
for education. It's a fine machine with tons of educational software. My
only problem with this idea is Apple's considering the ][ as not good for
much more than education. So here we are with saint and sinner agreeing.
Now along comes one of them (which is a matter of viewpoint) and suddenly
says "Yes, BUT, we think you should have this OTHER machine for that.
We think this so much that we'll make it free."
Backpedaling on their own strategy? What will they think of next.
Armed with this information, and all the hostility that out and out betrayal
can incite, I journeyed to the West Coast AppleFest. During the question
and answer period of the second unofficial meeting of the unofficial Apple
Developers' Group, I stated that it would help immensely if communications
with the company were better, so we could find out why they were able to
talk from both sides of their mouth; stating the ][ is for education and
blatantly violating that statement with dealings like this.
The members of the group's unofficial board of directors were nonplussed,
as were most others there that I could see. One other person that was nonplussed
was an employee of Apple. Since he had to leave the conference early, he
left me his card and asked me to contact him about it later.
I met with him at the Apple booth, and we had a chat about the situation.
He said that it was definitely NOT the policy of Apple to do such a thing,
said that it could pssobly be one of the distributors' dealings, and asked
if I'd collect more information on it for him. He was as disturbed as I
was about this happening, if it was true.
I agreed to look deeper as soon as I returned from the 'Fest.
After returning, I contacted the Newport News school system and obtained
the name of their purchaser for their computer equipment. After I explained
up front what information I was seeking and why, he was a bit reluctant
to divulge, but gave me quite a bit to go on. His statement was that he
"remembered a memo about that crossing his desk some time back."
He couldn't remember exactly who it was from, but stated unequivically that
"it was definitley not from our distributor. I know them well and that
would have stuck with me. I know they wouldn't have done that".
He also said that they were not going to take the offer, because although
they were adding Macs to the school system, they were still using the ][s
they had and had no intention of getting rid of them.
I related all of this information back to the person at Apple, who said
that in his inquiry within the company, this was definitley not a policy
condoned or even known of inside the Apple division, and may be something
that might originate in another division of the company. His final lines
to me were to the effect that it sounded like "some kind of Watergate"
in the company.
He thanked me, and said he'd tell me if he learned anything more about
For whatever reason, he hasn't. I've tried to contact him, leaving messages,
and had no response. They can't be getting lost, as I have his number direct
to his desk, and it's his voice on his answering machine.
So where does that leave us? Is Apple telling us one story, even spending
their hard earned profits from us on advertising, saying that this machine
is for education, while telling school system quite the opposite, to the
point of trading used ][s for new Macs? Is there some shady dealing going
on within Apple, a civil war of sales, known up one side of the company
but not down the other?
Or perhaps this is an isolated case, a pilot program originating from
some indistinct point within Apple Computers Inc. to see how well a deal
like this would be received. I wonder how the distributor feels about this,
since it's their commisions being bypassed, or would have been had the school
system agreed to a trade.
This definitely bears watching. More information is needed, and it looks
as though it's not coming from inside the company. We'll just have to go
it alone, and see what else we can turn up.
How about it? Is there any cases of this sort of dealing that you've
Date: 25-Nov-89 16:23
From: Dale Barker
To: Rick Diffley
Subj: Christmas List
A-2 CENTRAL is now offering 3.5" disk subscriptions to Stack-Central.
Six issues per year - $42 (or $81 for 2 years, $117 for 3 years). They
also combining the 6 disk subscription with HyperStudio for $139.
(Personally, I can't see that this is much of a deal, since you would be
paying $97 for HyperStudio, which sells for much less practically anywhere
else.) The Stack-Central subscription looks like a good idea, however.
Disks will include HyperStudio authoring tips, clip art, sound files, and
public domain & shareware stacks.
On a similar note, Roger Wagner is offering a demo version of HyperStudio
three 3.5" disks, as well as seven disks of demonstration stacks.
supposedly supplying these sets to every authorized Apple dealer in the
Dealers may allow you to copy any or all of these disks for just the cost
the blank disks. Or you can send $10 directly to Roger Wagner Publishing
receive the whole 10 disk set. A good way to see what HyperStudio can do
before you buy it.